Streaking Ospreys win four straight in Homestand

Drew McDonald

photo courtesy of UNF Athletics

There must be an aura around Harmon Stadium as North Florida have won four straight against USC Upstate and Bethune Cookman.

After a weather-delay the day before for the second time in a week, the Ospreys took the field.

North Florida took on Bethune Cookman at home and earned a 6-1 win on Wednesday. The pitching staff was lights out by throwing a combined nine innings with nine strikeouts and only allowing four hits. Jay Prather got the offense going early as he lined a two-run single in the first inning to give the Ospreys an early 2-0 lead.

The Wildcats scrounged up a run in the third as Tanner Murphy lofted a solo smash, his tenth of the season, to extend the lead to 3-1 for the Ospreys. In the fifth, Blake Voyles hit a sacrifice fly to add another run to make it 4-1. Due to sloppy defense, Max Law reached on an error to score the fifth run for the home team. The final nail in the coffin was an RBI single by Blake Voyles to make it 6-1 Ospreys.

Before this matchup, North Florida battled the weather as they swept USC Upstate over the weekend.

In game one of the series against USC Upstate, junior Frank German owned the mound as he blanked the Spartans in a career high eight shutout innings to earn his fifth win of the season. After Voyles and Alex Reynolds connected on back to back singles in the bottom of the sixth, Prather delivered with a single to left to score Voyles as the Ospreys led 1-0. Mac Wilson later had a sacrifice ground-out to score Dalton Board in the seventh as the Ospreys extended the lead to 2-0. To cement the victory, Raff Libuano lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score. Reynolds in the eighth. Brad Depperman closed the door in the ninth, earning his second save of the season.

The Ospreys and Spartans squared off in a doubleheader on Sunday as the home team brought the lumber. In the first game of the doubleheader, Adam Polansky got the start and hurled 4.2 innings with an earned run but his start was halted due to the rain. After the tarp came off, Ethan Michaelis replaced Polansky and finished with a line of 4.1 innings, six hits, three earned runs and two strikeouts. Prather and Wilson each had three hits to pace the Ospreys to the win.  Murphy had a two-hit contest, with Prather adding a career-high four RBI in the 13-6 victory.

In the final game of the series, the Ospreys brought the brooms out as Austin Drury was wheeling and dealing on the mound for the opening five innings as he had four 1-2-3 frames to keep the Ospreys lead at 2-0.  In the sixth, Drury allowed a game tying two-run deep fly to Upstate’s Charlie Carpenter. The Ospreys offense went into overdrive as Rey Gonzalez mashed a double off the left field fence to drive in Reynolds en route to a 3-2 Osprey win to sweep the series.

North Florida travel to Kennesaw State for an ASUN weekend series beginning April 13 at 6 p.m.

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