JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Stetson Hatters claimed their second ASUN Conference Baseball Championship title in the last three years as they defeated North Florida 6-0 on Saturday afternoon behind a brilliant performance by Mitchell Senger. The lefty threw a complete game three-hit shutout as the Hatters will turn their attention to potentially hosting an NCAA Championship Regional next weekend in DeLand, Fla.
Senger dominated the contest from the jump as he pitched a scoreless first inning that including one strikeout. The Hatters offense gave Senger plenty of breathing room in the bottom half of the inning. All-Tournament selection, Mike Spooner delivered the first run on an RBI double that scored Andrew MacNeil to make it 1-0 in favor of the Hatters. After Jacob Koos got hit by a pitch, Championship MVP Eric Foggo drove in two more runs with a single going the other way to right field. Catcher Austin Hale followed that up with a two-run double to left field to give Stetson and Senger a 5-0 cushion after the first.
In the end, only one run would have been enough, as Senger held the Ospreys to just three hits all game long. He pitched to contact and used his excellent defense to manage his pitch count as he cruised right along. North Florida's best scoring chance came in the second inning when they had two runners on base with nobody out. Senger came back with a strikeout and two fly outs to get out of the inning. It would be the only time the Ospreys got a runner to second base until the ninth inning.
Stetson's offense delivered another run in the bottom of the second inning as Spooner singled and advanced to third on a throwing error. Designated hitter Brooks Wilson stepped to the plate and ripped an RBI single to right field to score Spooner and give Stetson a 6-0 lead after the first two innings. Matt Vaka came out of the bullpen for the Ospreys and settled things down as he pitched 4.2 scoreless innings to keep the Hatter lead at 6-0, but the Ospreys offense was unable to find a breakthrough against Senger. The regular Sunday starter for the Hatters retired 13 consecutive batters between the second and fifth inning. Even when the Ospreys snapped that streak, Senger induced a double play on the next pitch to get out of the sixth inning.
In the end, the Hatters starter proved to be too much as his performance gave Stetson it's eighth ASUN Baseball Championship title in program history, with this one being the first under head coach Steve Trimper. The Hatters extended the nation's longest winning streak to 15 games with today's win and will await the NCAA Selection Show on Monday at 12 PM to see if they can become the first ASUN team to ever host a regional. With an RPI that ranks No. 5 in the country and an overall record of 45-11, they have certainly earned that opportunity on the field.
- Eric Foggo, Stetson - MVP
- Logan Gilbert, Stetson
- Jacob Koos, Stetson
- Mitchell Senger, Stetson
- Mike Spooner, Stetson
- Angel Camacho, Jacksonville
- Scott Dubrule, Jacksonville
- Ruben Someillan, Jacksonville
- Jeffrey Crisan, Lipscomb
- Frank German, North Florida
- Blake Voyles, North Florida
No. 1 Stetson vs. No. 4 North Florida Additional Notes
- Mitchell Senger became the first pitcher to throw a complete game shutout in the ASUN Championship since 2015, when North Florida's Evan Incinelli threw a four-hit shutout.
- The Hatters are the first No. 1 seed to claim the title since the 2012 Championship. Stetson hasn't lost a game since April 22nd and improved its RPI to five coming into the game
- Eric Foggo was brilliant throughout this Championship run as the freshman hit 6-for-15 with four RBI. All four of those came in the final two games of this year's ASUN Championship.
- North Florida was the first host school to play in the ASUN Championship Final since 2006, when Stetson won at home in DeLand. The Ospreys conclude their season with a 28-28 mark in the first year under head coach Tim Parenton.