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Olmstead breaks school record in sweep of Dartmouth

The Ospreys have won with walk-off hits in four of their last 11 games. Photo by Morgan Purvis.
The Ospreys have won with walk-off hits in four of their last 11 games.
Photo by Morgan Purvis.

The North Florida Ospreys (15-10) continued its hot streak Thursday afternoon, sweeping a two-game series against Dartmouth (4-11) with an 8-6 victory from Harmon Stadium.

The Ospreys walk-off win Thursday was its fourth in the last 11 games.

Game one

The Ospreys dominated Dartmouth from start to finish in the first game in the opening game Wednesday night.

In the first inning, Keith Skinner hit a double to bring home two runs, and Alex Merritt hit a two-run homer to help UNF jump out to an early 4-0 lead.

The Ospreys would score runs in the first six innings of the game.

The fourth inning in particular was a scoring bonanza for the Ospreys. Dartmouth managed to get on the board, but the Ospreys went off for seven runs, including a homer from Corbin Olmstead and a two-RBI single from Dakota Higdon. Higdon scored three runs and batted in three runs, both career-single game bests.

With a 15-1 lead in the fourth inning, it didn’t take long for North Florida head coach Smoke Laval to sub in some reserves. After getting two more runs in two innings, the Ospreys coasted to a 17-3 win.

The Ospreys had a season-high 18 hits, and scored in every inning but the last two.

Game two

In the final game of the series, the score was much closer. After two scoreless innings, the teams traded runs in the third to go into the fourth inning tied 1-1.

In the fourth, Dartmouth put up three runs after Adam Gauthier and Mike Brown knocked home an RBI each, and first baseman Michael Ketchmark hit a solo home run.

The Ospreys responded in the bottom of the fourth, when Corbin Olmstead smashed a solo home run to close the gap. An error by the Dartmouth third baseman would allow another run to score, making it a one-run Dartmouth lead.

Dartmouth responded with a two-run fifth inning, but the game was far from over.

Olmstead, who was named A-Sun player of the week for his recent hot streak, hit his second homer of the day in the bottom of the fifth to not only cut the deficit to a single run, but surpass Andrew Karmeris as North Florida’s all-time home run leader since becoming a Division 1 program.

“I feel great. Couldn’t be a better day to do it [break the record.]” Olmstead said. “I just really wasn’t even focused on that I was just trying to help my team win.”

Going into the bottom of the ninth, the game was tied 6-6. The Ospreys seemed set to continue their trend of late game heroics. This time Skinner was the one to deliver when he hit a walk-off two-run homer to seal the 8-6 win for the Ospreys.

“I got ahead in the [pitch] count early so I was looking for anything up in the [strike] zone.” Skinner said. “Dartmouth played us well, but we were able to come out on top so it’s always nice to get a win going into a break.”

Olmstead extended his hitting streak to 18 games, and earned his second win of the season from the mound when he recorded the final out in the top of the ninth.

Chris Thibideau went 3-for-4 and was a triple short of hitting for the cycle.

The Ospreys play their next game on March 29 at home against Florida A&M.

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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