March 7, 2014
Athens, Ga. -
North Florida's Alex Merritt drove home two runs on a single to center field in the top of the 10th inning as the Ospreys outlasted Western Carolina, 4-2, in 10 innings Friday afternoon in tournament action at Foley Field.
Western Carolina returns to action in the Bulldog Invitational against the Buffalo Bulls with first pitch scheduled 5:00 pm.
Two Catamounts finished with multi-hit games as senior Dykota Spiess went 3-for-5 with his second home run of the season while Danny Bermudez, who was pressed into service after starting catcher Adam Martin left the game with an injury in the top of the fifth inning, finishing 2-for-3.
Denoted as the designated home team, Western Carolina (8-3) broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth inning. Adam Martin led off the frame by being hit by a pitch before taking second on a wild pitch. Spiess singled to right field to put runners at the corners before with nobody out. Taylor Sandefur drew a walk to load the bases ahead of Luke Gragg, who drove in the game's first run on a RBI ground out to the right side.
Half an inning later, North Florida responded by putting two markers on the board. Shortstop Kyle Brooks led off with a single to center ahead of Alex Bacon who delivered a run-scoring double knot the game at one apiece, taking third on WCU's throw to the plate. Next batter, Peyton Walsh, pushed the Osprey ahead with a RBI ground out to make it 2-1.
The North Florida lead remained until the home portion of the sixth inning as Spiess led off with a solo home run to right field, tying the game at two which stood until the top of the 10th inning.
Sophomore Colton Davis (0-1) took the loss for the Catamounts after issuing a one-out walk in the top of the 10th which represented the game-winning run. Davis, one of four Catamount pitchers to toe the rubber, surrendered two runs on one hit with a walk and a strikeout in an inning of work out of the bullpen. Relievers Tyler Powell and Alex Barr also pitched in extra innings.
Catamount starter Jeremy Null factored in the no-decision for a second-straight start. The Claremont, N.C., native held North Florida to two runs on seven hits through eight and a third innings, striking out five against one walk.
UNF reliever Dan Vansickle (2-1) picked up the victory, tossing 4.2 innings of scoreless, three-hit baseball with three strikeouts. Starter David Trexler allowed both WCU runs on seven hits with a walk and three K's.
Patrick Ervin finished 2-for-5 to lead North Florida as eight different Ospreys hitters combined for their nine hits. Bacon scored two of the four runs in the winning effort.