JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University baseball survived a back and forth affair on Saturday to beat North Florida 5-2 at John Sessions Stadium.
JU (18-10, 2-1) took the opening series of ASUN Conference play, after dropping the series opener to UNF (14-15, 1-2) on Thursday night.
"This was a complete team win, with contributions from everybody," said Head Coach Chris Hayes. "This is a great start for our conference season."
North Florida struck first, when Tanner Murphy walked, stole second and Blake Voyles drove him in one batter later.
Jacksonville answered right away, as Ruben Someillan singled to start the bottom of the first, stole second, moved to third on a groundout by Chris Lehane and came home on Scott Dubrule's RBI single to center.
JU took its first lead in the third, when Someillan again reached to lead off the inning, this time via a walk. Lehane executed a perfect hit-and-run to advance Someillan to third and Dubrule grounded into a double play, but the go-ahead run scored.
The Ospreys tied it right back up in the top of the fourth with more station-to-station baseball. Jay Prather started with a single to center, stole second, advanced to third on the throwing error by catcher Jacob Southern and scored with two-outs on Chris Berry's single to right.
The first crooked number of the day went on the board in the bottom half, and JU took the lead for good. John Cassala singled to start the frame and Cory Garrastazu walked, one of seven free passes earned by JU on the afternoon. Duncan Hunter took a pitch up and in and laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt. A wild pitch allowed Cassala to score and Lehane drove in the second with a safety squeeze.
The Dolphins tacked on one more in the fifth, when Cassala drove in Sam Armstrong after he doubled with one out.
Santana (5-1), after allowing the early runs, settled down and lasted 6.2 innings, striking out for along the way.
"I was missing down early, so I changed my target a little and was able to work more effectively in the later innings," said Santana.
"He gave us a huge outing, quality start, and was able to turn it over to the bullpen to finish," said Hayes.
Trent Palmer pitched 1.2 in relief of Santana and Chris Mauloni got the final two outs of the ninth to lock down his 10th save of the season.
Jacksonville stays at home to face FAMU on Tuesday at 5 p.m.