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Ospreys set record, win weekend series

The Ospreys took two of three games in its weekend series against Penn. Photo by Garrett Milanovich

Video by Al Huffman

The North Florida baseball team (6-6)  won two of its three games in a weekend home series against the University of Pennsylvania (1-2).

In the series opener Friday night, the Ospreys struck out 16 Quakers, setting a new D-1 era single game record. Brian Baker struck out 11 batters through four innings.

The Osprey complemented the lights out pitching with a great offensive performance.

Redshirt junior first baseman Christian Diaz belted a grand slam, which helped boost the Ospreys to a 7-0 lead after only the first inning. It was Diaz’s second consecutive game with a home run.

The Ospreys tacked on seven more runs in innings 5-7, giving the Ospreys a 17-5 victory.

The second game was much closer. The Ospreys came in with all the confidence they could ask for after their big win, however North Florida Head Coach Smoke Laval was skeptical of the wins.

The second game was much closer. The Ospreys came in with confidence after their dominating performance Friday, but Head Coach Smoke Laval recognized how close the game could have been

“We had one big inning, if you take away the inning with the grand slam it’s another tight ball game,” Laval said. “We pitched a little bit better momentum-wise [in the second game]. That’s how we play, it wasn’t really any different, that’s baseball.”

The second game came down to the last inning, when Penn had one more chance to close the two run gap. Osprey closer Corbin Olmstead took the pitcher’s mound and struck out the side to close the game and give the Ospreys the 5-3 win.

Senior shortstop Kyle Brooks made history, becoming the all-time leader in assists for UNF.

“It feels great, I feel honored,” Brooks said. “Some great players that I’ve played with and haven’t played with have come through this organization. I’m honored to be the first in assists, and I hope to get a lot more this season.”

The Ospreys went into the final game of the series Sunday looking to sweep Penn with a third victory.

The game started out slowly. Neither team scored any runs until the bottom of the fourth, when Diaz managed to hit an RBI single through the right side.

Junior third baseman Alex Merritt later scored off a wild pitch to make the score 2-0.

Despite Penn scoring in the sixth, the game seemed to be under the Osprey’s control. Things fell apart for the Ospreys in the eighth inning, when Quaker shortstop Ryan Mincher hit a single with the bases loaded, driving home the tying and go-ahead runs.

The Ospreys went scoreless in the ninth, leading to a 2-3 defeat.

Coach Laval did not talk to the press after the game.

The Ospreys next matchup comes against the No. 1 ranked Florida Gators Mar. 8 from Harmon Stadium.



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