Owls Mount Comeback; UNF's Pitching Dominant to Open @ASUNBSB Weekend

LakePoint, Ga. - Friday's ASUN Conference Baseball league series openers saw FGCU, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State and North Florida collect wins. The Eagles earn their first win of conference play, while the Ospreys picked up their second win. Jacksonville and Kennesaw State sit atop the standings at 3-1 in league play. 

ASUN Baseball Results - Friday, Apr. 6th
Jacksonville 5, Lipscomb 2
Kennesaw State 9, #16 Stetson 6
North Florida 3, USC Upstate 0
#22 FGCU 9, NJIT 1

Kennesaw State trailed 5-0 early on facing one of the toughest pitchers in the ASUN in Logan Gilbert from Stetson. But the Owls offense came to life behind Grant Williams and Jake Franklin as they win 9-6 to open the three-game set. Williams and Franklin both homered in the fourth inning to cut a 4-0 deficit into a 4-3 Hatter lead, and the KSU offense rolled from then on. Tyler Simon had an RBI single, before Williams tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. Williams and Franklin delivered RBI in the bottom of the seventh to give the Owls their first lead of the night. Jake McLinskey pitched a scoreless ninth to close out the game. Gilbert and Kennesaw State starter AJ Moore gave up five runs each, as Stetson's offense was led by Jacob Koos who went 4-for-5 tonight. 

Jacksonville secured a 5-2 win to open the series at Lipscomb behind great pitching from Chris Gau and timely hitting from Connor Stephens and Angel Camacho. The Dolphins are now 20-11 on the season and 3-1 in league play. It's the fastest season to 20 wins since 2009 for the Dolphins. Gau pitched eight solid innings once again as he has found his groove on the mound. He only allowed two earned runs and struck out four batters. Chris Mauloni struck out the side in the ninth to earn his 12th save of the year, tying a Dolphin single-season record. Zeke Dodson hit a solo homer for Lipscomb in the bottom of the first to give the Bisons the lead, but the Dolphins responded as they scored runs on a hit by pitch and bases-loaded walk. Stephens then hit a solo shot in the sixth, followed by Camacho's solo blast in the seventh to put the Dolphins in control the rest of the way.

North Florida's ace Frank German pitched like one on Friday night as the right-hander went 8.0 scoreless innings to lead the Ospreys to a 3-0 victory against USC Upstate. German struck out seven batters while only allowing one walk and four hits. He was in control throughout the game, retiring the first 11 batters in order. Brad Depperman came on in the ninth to pick up his second save of the season. The offense produced 13 hits, but had to wait until the sixth to break through. Jay Prather delivered an RBI single to left field for the opening run. North Florida added runs in the seventh and eighth for the final score. USC Upstate was only able to muster four singles in the game, while Kevin Hickey went 7.0 innings and only allowed two runs. 

No. 22 FGCU won its ASUN opener in convincing fashion as the Eagles defeated NJIT 9-1 on Friday night at Swanson Stadium. The Eagles were led offensively by Eli Lovell who had himself a night. The left fielder went 4-for-4 at the plate with four RBI. After FGCU took a 2-0 early lead, Lovell smacked a two-run homer to left field to make it 4-0. In the bottom of the seventh, Lovell's two-run single highlighted a five-run inning as FGCU put away any hopes of any NJIT comeback. Mario Leon had another quality start as the senior went five innings and struck out eight. He only allowed one run on five hits. The Eagles bullpen came in and was lights out to close out the contest. 

Upcoming ASUN Baseball Schedule - Saturday, Apr. 7th
USC Upstate at North Florida - 1 PM-  ESPN3
#16 Stetson at Kennesaw State - 2 PM
NJIT at #22 FGCU - 2 
Jacksonville at Lipscomb - 2 PM CT

ASUN Conference Baseball Standings
Team ASUN Record Overall Record
#22 FGCU 1-0 23-6
Jacksonville 3-1 20-11
Kennesaw State 3-1 16-14
North Florida 2-2 15-15
Lipscomb 2-2 13-15
NJIT 1-3 11-11
USC Upstate 1-3 15-16-1
#16 Stetson 0-1 23-7

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