The Ospreys (24-14) looked to improve their 2-4 record in conference play when they hosted Stetson this weekend in a three-game home series.
Brian Baker started the game by striking out the first three batters he faced in just 10 pitches. The offense followed with a three-run first inning, thanks to RBI singles from Corbin Olmstead and Keith Skinner. Olmstead extended his streak of reaching base safely to 29 games, and Skinner upped his A-Sun leading batting average to .411 as he recorded multiple hits for the 15th time this season.
The star of the game turned out to be North Florida’s Nick Karmeris who got four RBI on the game, including a two-run homer in the eighth inning. Karmeris also hit a go-ahead grand slam in the Osprey’s Tuesday game against USF. Karmeris’s effort, along with Baker’s six-strikeout performance, sealed the first game of the series with a 6-2 win.
The Osprey’s hitting dramatically improved in the second game. The Ospreys 13 hits were more than both teams combined for in the first game.
Starting pitcher Tyler Dupont struck out a career-high eight batters, going eight innings and giving up just one walk. He allowed only three hits through the first seven innings, and earned his third win of the season.
Despite out-hitting Stetson by seven, the game was close. The Ospreys got off to a three-run lead in the second, including a two-RBI triple from Chris Berry, but their lead was nearly compromised late.
In the eighth inning Stetson managed to break through its slump with three runs. Dupont gave up one run, but North Florida closer Corbin Olmstead came in from the bullpen and recorded two strikeouts in the final inning to secure the win and clinch the series. Olmstead also went 1-for-4 at the plate, extending his reached-base streak to a league-leading 30 games.
The Ospreys went scoreless in the first three innings, but Chris Berry got them on the board with a two-out, two-RBI single in the fourth. Additionally, senior shortstop Kyle Brooks got two RBI of his own in the sixth to give the Ospreys a 4-0 lead.
The true winner of the day was North Florida’s starting pitcher Austin Drury, who allowed no runs and got four strikeouts in his seven innings on the mound. Olmstead came in as the closer again for the Ospreys and finished off a 5-0 win to finish the series sweep.
North Florida head coach Smoke Laval was impressed with the effort from both sides over the weekend.
“This is what college baseball’s all about,” Laval said. “Both teams played real well, when you’re at home you gotta take advantage like we did.”
Olmstead extended his streak of reaching base safely to 31 games with a single in the first.
Alex Merritt went 2-for-3 with a double and two runs, and was the only Osprey to record multiple hits.
The Ospreys play their next game at home against UCF on April 19.
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