Pro Hockey News

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp Best Charlotte Knights 5-2 in Sunday Finale

 JACKSONVILLE ( -  Jacob Amaya, Jerar Encarnacion and Jesús Sánchez each hit a home run in the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp’s 5-2 victory over the Charlotte Knights Sunday evening from 121 Financial Ballpark in front of 8,023 fans. 

The Jumbo Shrimp drew first blood in the opening frame. Sánchez (1) and Amaya (7) smacked back-to-back solo home runs to give Jacksonville (23-26) a 2-0 advantage. 

Charlotte (25-26) collected their first run of the contest in the second when Carlos Perez (9) hit a solo home run against Jacksonville left-hander Devin Smeltzer (1-2) to make it 2-1. 

In the fourth inning, Elvis Andrus (1) hit the fourth home run of the contest to knot the game at two apiece. 

Amaya sliced a leadoff single in the fifth. Three batters later, Encarnacion (10) hit a two-run homer off Knights reliever John Parke (1-1) to put Jacksonville back in front 4-2. 

Jacksonville tacked on their fifth and final run in the sixth. Jake Mangum hit a one-out double and was brought home on a single from Sánchez stretching the lead to 5-2. 

Jacksonville will travel to Durham to begin their six-game series with the Bulls on Monday at 5:05 p.m. from Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The Jumbo Shrimp will start RHP Ronald Bolaños (1-5, 7.76). 

NAL: Jacksonville Sharks Knock Gunslingers from Unbeaten Ranks

Special to SportsDay
JACKSONVILLE ( The Sharks (4-2) kept their undefeated road record alive against the San Antonio Gunslingers (5-1) on Sunday afternoon.

During their first matchup this season, San Antonio took down Jacksonville in overtime at the Tank. The Sharks got revenge, however, dominantly defeating the Gunslingers on their home field. 

Jacksonville took control early and never looked back. Marc Orozco started the game with a deuce on the opening kick-off, immediately giving the Sharks a 2-0 lead. In his first game with Jacksonville, Orozco showed his power and precision.

Jabari Gorman halted any possible momentum for the Gunslingers with an incredible interception in the endzone later that quarter, which was a massive part of the first half for the Sharks. Tamorrion Terry and Marquel Wade scored in the first, and Jacksonville led 17-6 after one. 
The second quarter saw the first of a few touchdowns for both Sam Castronova and Kamrin Solomon. The defense continued to shine, and Gorman ended the first half with his second endzone interception as the clock hit zero. The Sharks maintained their all-around solid play against the number one team in the league. 
After the first half, San Antonio had scored only two touchdowns compared to Jacksonville’s four. The Sharks led 31-13 at halftime. 
Castronova continued his impressive rushing game, bringing in his second touchdown to open the scoring in the third quarter. The Sharks quarterback finished the game with 24 rushing yards to lead the team.

The only other quarter score for the Sharks came from Orozco’s second deuce, which gave the Sharks a 40-20 lead with 15 minutes left. 

The fourth quarter was an offensive dream for Jacksonville. It started with Terry’s second touchdown. He finished with 89 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Solomon continued his incredible season with three fourth-quarter scores of his own.

A third deuce of the night for Orozco, one shy of the NAL record, put the game away for Jacksonville in San Antonio. The game ended after a successful two-point conversion for the Gunslingers made the score 70-43.
Orozco went 8 for 9 on extra point attempts and scored three deuces in his first game for Jacksonville.Solomon had 120 yards on 12 receptions. He added three more receiving touchdowns to his league lead, now up to 17. 
To add to his rushing game, Castronova threw for 272 yards and seven touchdowns.
Jacksonville’s next home game will be on June 10 against the Fayetteville Mustangs.

JU Women's Rowing Finishes 2023 Season In Historic Fashion

 CHERRY HILL, N.J. ( - The Jacksonville Women's Rowing team completed their historic 2022-23 season at the NCAA Championships on Sunday.

"The NCAA's is an amazing event because we witness the highest caliber of athletes in the country, and in some cases, in the world. Having Jacksonville University represented alongside those women is incredible. We had a historic performance, not only for JU but also for the MAAC Conference. It was the best finish ever at the Championship. I'm excited to see what Jacksonville and the MAAC will do moving forward."

On the third day of impeccable conditions, today's weather may have taken the cake in terms of quality. Slight overcast and little to no wind led to honest racing conditions. 

The Dolphins' Varsity Four put together the best performance by a boat at the NCAA Championship in program history. Throughout the weekend, they continued to climb and beat boats, and the outcome was no different in the 'D' final. In a back-and-forth race, boats from Northeastern, Jacksonville, and Navy competed for the top spot for most of the course. 

As the race entered the final 500 meters, Northeastern had a slight edge in the top spot, leaving Jacksonville and Navy to duke it out in the remaining stages of the race. The two boats alternated second place with every stroke, but the Dolphins' final sprint proved to be enough to overtake two boats in the final and claim the highest finish a JU boat has ever had. 

To top it all off, Jacksonville's time of 7:54.256 was seven seconds faster than Gonzaga's time in the 'C' final.

"I couldn't be prouder of the Varsity Four," said head coach Mike Lane. "Their performance here was historic, beating two teams and just barely missing out on that 'C' final. I couldn't be prouder of those kids, and it's a great testament to the depth we have in our program."

The Dolphins' Second Varsity Eight continued to make history by beating a boat in the final for the first time in program history. Seeded in the 'D' final against Gonzaga, Northeastern, and Navy, all four boats were in a tightly contested race all the way to the finish. 

As the race progressed, Gonzaga began to pull ahead slightly, followed by Northeastern. As the boats pushed towards the final stages of the race, Navy and Jacksonville battled it out for third place, with Jacksonville striving for history. As JU entered the final 250 meters or so, their sprint propelled them ahead of the Midshipmen, and with the gained momentum, they rowed across the finish line just under seven seconds ahead of Navy.

"Our JV8 are a bunch of fighters. They've been scrappy all year long and pushing our 1V all year long. Today, they showed that fight. Them and Navy battling down the course, beating one boat is a huge deal, and again, I'm really proud of the effort they put in."

The First Varsity Eight faced some of the fastest boats in the country throughout the weekend, and the trend continued into the final. Racing against teams from Gonzaga, Navy, and George Washington, the Dolphins jumped out of the gates at full speed and found themselves in the heat of the battle through the first 100 meters. As the race progressed, Gonzaga began to pull away, followed by Navy and George Washington, resulting in the Dolphins finishing fourth in their respective final.

"The 1V had a tough race, but that's the highest level of competition we encounter here," said Lane. "Those guys didn't give in or give up, and I'm proud of their character. We have great leadership in that boat, and some of them are leaving because of graduation and they're going to be hard to replace."

While the 2022-23 season has concluded, Jacksonville continues to be on the rise in women's rowing. This includes consecutive years of sweeping the MAAC and consistently getting faster at the NCAA Championship and eventually making history by beating out four total boats in this year's final."It was a great year, I mean you can't beat a Championship, winning every event, getting to the NCAA's, beating boats," said Lane. "I've been doing this for 25 years and this is by far my best year ever. Not only because of the results but because of the amazing women that I had the privilege of coaching."

Hurricanes Come Up Short in ACC Baseball Championship Game

 DURHAM, N.C.(  — The Miami Hurricanes’ impressive ACC Baseball Championship run came to an end Sunday.

Making their first title game appearance in 11 years, the fourth-seeded Hurricanes fell to the three-seeded Clemson Tigers, 11-5, in front of 4,702 fans at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.


The Tigers (43-17) extended their nation’s longest-active winning streak to 16 games, as Clemson claimed its 11th ACC Baseball Championship crown.


Miami (40-19) held a tight 5-3 lead at stretch time, but the Hurricanes ran out of gas playing for the fourth straight day.


Clemson scored eight runs in the seventh, highlighted by a pair of home runs.


Second baseman Riley Bertram delivered the game-winning shot, as the fifth-year transfer from Michigan tallied his first homer in a Tiger uniform.


Right-hander Jackson Lindley (3-3) earned the win in relief after tossing two scoreless innings.


Meanwhile, the Hurricanes used six different pitchers in the defeat, with fourth-year redshirt sophomore Alejandro Torres (4-1) picking up the loss.


Next, Miami turns its attention to the 2023 college baseball tournament selection show, which is scheduled for 12 p.m. Monday on ESPN2.

Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp End Four-Game Skid in Big Way, 20-4

JACKSONVILLE (– The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp launched six home runs – their most in a home game since June 4, 2010 - in their commanding 20-4 victory over the Charlotte Knights on Saturday at 121 Financial Ballpark in front of 8,041 fans.

The 20 runs scored were the most at 121 Financial Ballpark for any Jacksonville club since at least 2005.

In the top of the first inning, Zach Remillard and Elvis Andrus sliced back-to-back singles. Lenyn Sosa then laced a double to center field, driving in Remillard and Andrus to plate a pair of runs. Oscar Colas singled into left field, advancing Sosa to third. 

With runners at the corners, Victor Reyes flew out and Jacksonville (22-26) ended up turning a triple play to end Charlotte’s (25-25) momentum in the first.

Jacksonville put up a four-spot in the second inning against Knights starter Nate Fisher (4-5) to take the lead. Jerar Encarnacion (9) smashed a solo home run to right field, cutting the deficit to 2-1. 

Austin Allen followed with a single and Charles Leblanc walked before a ground out allowed them to advance to scoring position. Jake Mangum (2) cranked a three-run home run to left field, putting Jacksonville in front 4-2.

Jacob Amaya, who went 4-for-4 with two home runs, two walks and a career-high seven RBIs, led off the third with a single before Peyton Burdick (12) blasted a two-run shot to right field to extend the lead 6-2.

Jacksonville blew the game wide open in the fifth inning. Three consecutive one-out singles by Leblanc, Brian Miller and Mangum tallied another run. Jesús Sánchez walked to load the bases for Amaya (5), who hit a grand slam to right field giving the Jumbo Shrimp a commanding 11-2 advantage.

Sosa (8) hit a solo home run in the sixth inning to give Charlotte their third run of the game and make it 11-3.

Remillard and Andrus opened the eighth inning with a single and a walk. Sosa then put together a single of his own, driving in Remillard.

Amaya led off the eighth with a single and Jordan Groshans and Encarnacion earned back-to-back walks to load the bases. Allen ripped a single to drive in Amaya and then Leblanc (5) launched the second grand slam of the contest to make it 16-4. 

Mangum reached on an error and Victor Victor Mesa was hit by a pitch. Amaya (6) then hit his second home run of the game, a three-run shot. Burdick walked and Groshans singled followed by a Encarnacion base hit, driving in Burdick to give Jacksonville a 20-4 lead.

Jacksonville and Charlotte conclude their series Sunday at 6:05 p.m. The Jumbo Shrimp will start RHP Ronald Bolaños (1-5, 7.76) and the Knights will counter with RHP Luke Farrell (0-3, 10.03). 

Florida's Run in SEC Tournament Ends Saturday with Loss to Vandy

Vanderbilt scored early and often, plating four runs in the first inning, two in the second, and three in the third. That left the Gators (44-14) to play catch-up the rest of the way, eventually falling 11-6 in the SEC Tournament semifinals. 

The Commodores (40-18) advanced to Sunday's championship game to face Texas A&M, which beat Arkansas in Saturday's first semifinal. Florida was 4-0 against Vanderbilt before Saturday and owned a 28-7 advantage in runs. 

However, Gators starter Jac Caglianone struggled with his control as Vanderbilt scored four runs on two hits in the first inning, aided by a walk, a wild pitch and a hit batter by Caglianone. Despite falling behind 10-1 after three innings, the Gators kept the pressure on Vanderbilt starter JD Thompson (4 2/3 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER). 

"Vanderbilt, obviously, played really well and jumped out to a comfortable lead. And we uncharacteristically made three errors today, made some other mistakes that kind of put us in a tough spot early. But offensively we battled throughout the game. We always felt like we had a chance to get back into it, and I think that's one of the biggest things we'll take away from just this week is we have an identity now offensively, which we've had the entire year, but I think everybody has seen it, that we feel like we can come back, regardless of the deficit that we're in. So all in all, it was a really good week for us. Today we're a little disappointed, but we've got bigger and better things ahead of us," said Gators head coach Kevin O'Sullivan following Saturday's game.

Cade KurlandLuke Heyman and Wyatt Langford each homered for the Gators, highlighted by Langford's two-run homer in the fifth that left the Hoover Met with a career-best 117-mph exit velocity.

PLAY OF THE GAME: The game started inauspiciously for the Gators when Vanderbilt leadoff hitter Enrique Bradfield Jr. reached on an error by shortstop Josh Rivera and Caglianone walked Davis Diaz. Vanderbilt's No. 3 hitter, RJ Schrek, then hit a ball back to the mound that Caglianone fielded quickly with a chance to retire Bradfield at third. However, Caglianone's throw sailed over the head of third baseman Dale Thomas for an error, allowing Bradfield to score and Diaz to reach third. Caglianone then hit the next batter, Parker Noland, and his wild pitch allowed Diaz to score. After a pair of strikeouts, RJ Austin delivered a two-out, two-run single for a 4-0 lead.
STRANGE STAT: Vanderbilt's four-run outburst in the first inning Saturday matched the Commodores' run total from their visit to Condron Ballpark earlier this month. The Gators swept the three-game series by outscoring Vanderbilt 22-4.IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Gators catcher BT Riopelle drove in a pair of runs Saturday, setting a new school record for most RBI in the SEC Tournament. Riopelle finished 4-for-13 with three home runs and 10 RBI in the tournament, eclipsing the previous school record of nine RBI by Ben Harrison in 2002.KEY MOMENT: Florida's quest for an unlikely comeback took its final breath in the seventh after Langford, Caglianone and Rivera hit back-to-back-to-back singles with one out to load the bases. Riopelle drove home a run on a ground out to third to make it 11-6, but any hope of a breakout inning ended when Luke Heyman hit a fly ball to right for the final out.BY THE NUMBERS: 15 — NCAA Tournament berths for the Gators in head coach Kevin O'Sullivan's 16 seasons. The 2020 postseason was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic with Florida ranked No. 1 at the time; 6 — Pitchers used by the Gators on Saturday: Caglianone, Nick FicarrottaTyler NesbittBlake PurnellChris Arroyo and Fisher Jameson.

No. 15 ECU Ends South Florida’s AAC Postseason Run

CLEARWATER ( – The University of South Florida (21-39) had its NCAA Regional dreams dashed and season come to an end on Saturday night as the top-seeded and No. 15-nationally ranked ECU Pirates (45-16) handed the Bulls their second loss of the day in the American Baseball Championship semifinals.

ECU outlasted South Florida in a pitcher’s duel on Saturday morning, 3-1, and the Pirates out-slugged the Bulls in an elimination game later in the day, 14-7.


The eight-seed South Florida entered Saturday’s tournament semifinals in the winner’s bracket looking to repeat its Cinderella run of 2021 when the Bulls became the first six-seed to win the conference tournament. USF began its 2023 tournament run with a six-run rally in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s opening round to defeat ECU in extra innings, 12-11, and toppled rival UCF in run-rule fashion, 15-4 on Thursday, to set up Saturday’s rematch with ECU.


USF raked up 38 hits over the first two games of the tournament before behind held to two in Saturday’s opener and bounced back with 11 in the finale.


The Bulls and nationally-ranked Pirates played six times over the last 10 days with USF and ECU concluding the regular season in Tampa last weekend.


“I’m proud of how our guys performed over the last few days in a grueling tournament, but at the end of the day, we didn’t get the job done,” said head coach Billy Mohl. “ECU won the regular season championship and is nationally ranked for a reason, and we went to battle with them three times this week. Tip your cap to them. They are deep on the mound and continued to give us different looks today to keep us off balance and outlast us.


“This wasn’t the year any of us wanted to have, but we showed what we are capable of this week. Our pitching staff had its ups and downs all season, but each of those guys contributed this week to put us in position in the winner’s bracket. Our offense was a bright spot this year and the young guys in our lineup really shined.”


In game one The Pirates plated the first run of the day in the bottom of the fifth inning before Jackson Mayo (St. Johns) knotted the score with the Bulls’ first hit of the day – a solo homer in the top of the sixth.


ECU immediately answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and held off another late USF rally in the ninth inning. The Bulls loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth after Bobby Boser (Wesley Chapel) led off the frame with a double, but were unable to push any runs across.


Nolan Hudi (Safety Harbor) allowed three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts over 6.0 IP in the loss.


“Hudi gave us all we could ask for in the opener,” Mohl said. “I thought it was an incredible outing, he gave us a chance, and he set us up well in the bullpen for the next game. We felt good knowing we had all three of our weekend starters available later in the day if need be.”


In game two The Bulls and Pirates combined for 17 runs on 18 hits over the first four innings of the elimination game.


RBI-singles by Travis Sankovich (Uniontown, Pa.), Boser and Drew Brutcher (Lakeland) staked USF to a 4-0 lead in the top of the second inning. The Pirates responded with a two-out grand slam, which was originally ruled a double but overturned on replay, to quickly tie the score in the bottom of the frame.


USF answered with a two-run homer by Ben Rozenblum (Coral Springs) and a solo blast by Sankovich to make it a 7-4 ballgame. Rozenblum and Sankovich each tallied their first home runs of the season in the top of the third inning.


ECU cut its deficit to 7-5 in the bottom of the third after Ethan Brown (Winter Garden) relieved starter Hunter Mink (Palm Harbor). The Pirates proceeded to plate five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and never relinquished their lead.


“Hunter pitched well for us against ECU on Tuesday and Ethan gave us everything he had,” Mohl added. “Ethan was coming back from a shoulder injury a month ago which we thought might cost him the rest of his season, but I give him all the credit in the world. He wanted to be out there and he wanted to help us win.”



  • True freshman Eric Snow (Forsyth, Ga.) finished the season with a .343 batting average to lead USF and match Brutcher for the team lead with 45 RBI.
  • Brutcher concluded his junior campaign with 34 career home runs – tied for sixth all-time in program history.
  • Boser ended his sophomore season with a .323 batting average (second on the team) while riding a career-best 17-game hitting streak. His 15 home runs in 2023 are tied for ninth-most in USF single-season history.
  • The Bulls belted 74 home runs in 2023, their most since hitting 91 in 1996.
  • USF played 13 games against Top 25 opponents in 2023 and tallied three wins.           

Lovelady Will Not Return as UCF Baseball Head Coach

ORLANDO ( - Greg Lovelady will not return as UCF baseball head coach after seven seasons in that role. 

The Lovelady era in Orlando ends with one NCAA Championship appearance (in 2017 in Lovelady’s first season), a shared American Athletic Conference title (also in 2017), one appearance in the AAC Tournament title game (2021), 20 combined selections in the Major League Baseball Draft (2017-22) and a seven-year mark of 225-149 (.601).


The Knights finished with winning records in all seven of Lovelady’s seasons, beginning with a 40-22 mark in his debut campaign in 2017. UCF was 83-68 (.549) in regular-season AAC play over the seven years.


In his first campaign with the Knights in 2017, Lovelady earned AAC Coach of the Year honors.Recent years have been highlighted by early-season road series wins or sweeps at No. 1 Ole Miss (2021), No. 8 Auburn (2020) and Clemson in 2022. In the 2020 season shortened by Covid, the Knights began with a 15-3 record through the first four weeks of the season and were ranked as high as No. 12 by four of the six major national baseball polls.


The Knights concluded their 2023 season Friday with a 13-inning, 7-6 elimination-game loss to No. 1 seed East Carolina in the AAC Tournament in Clearwater, Florida. UCF finished 33-26 (12-12 in AAC play) and led the league in home runs with 109.


“We appreciate all of Greg’s hard work, effort and commitment over his seven seasons. There’s no doubt he’s a high-character individual,” says UCF vice president and director of athletics Terry Mohajir. “We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.


“I’m excited for the future because we believe in the trajectory of our baseball program. Over the last few years we’ve put significant resources into baseball at UCF--and we will continue to build the program in the transition. I’m confident we can win Big 12 Conference baseball titles and compete on a national level.”Lovelady was named the head baseball coach at UCF on July 11, 2016. He came to Orlando after three years as head coach at Wright State (2014-16), where he led the Raiders to consecutive runner-up finishes at NCAA Championship regionals in 2015 and 2016. As Raiders' head coach, he compiled a 124-56 record (.688)—and Wright State won the Horizon League regular season or tournament championship (or both) in each of Lovelady's three seasons at the helm. He was named the 2014 and 2016 Horizon League Coach of the Year and the 2016 ABCA/Diamond Mideast Regional Coach of the Year.Before being named head coach, Lovelady was on the Wright State staff for nine previous seasons, the final seven as associate head coach.  Lovelady served as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator, helping Wright State to NCAA Championship appearances in 2006, 2009 and 2011. As head coach Lovelady’s teams finished 69-18 (.793) in Horizon League play. His career head coaching record is 349-205 (.620) in 10 seasons (seven at UCF, three at Wright State).

As a catcher at the University of Miami, Lovelady helped the Hurricanes win NCAA baseball championships in 1999 and 2001. He captained the 2001 squad after hitting a career-best .314 in 1999. The 'Canes made a postseason appearance during each of Lovelady's years as a player and coach in Coral Gables (he was a Miami assistant coach from 2002-04). Miami reached the NCAA College World Series five times and advanced to the NCAA Super Regional seven times while Lovelady was on campus.The Miami native graduated from Miami in 2001 with a finance degree and a sports management minor. He also played with the Utica Blue Sox, an affiliate of the MLB Florida Marlins.