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UNF holds off visiting Eagles

UNF holds off visiting Eagles

UNF holds off visiting Eagles

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Georgia Southern Eagles scored five unanswered runs to rally within a run, but the North Florida Ospreys prevented the equalizer and won 8-7 at Harmon Stadium on Tuesday.
    Chase Griffin pulled Georgia Southern (19-7) to within two runs with a three-run home run in the seventh inning. Aaron Mizell put the Eagles down just one run headed into the ninth inning after plating a leadoff hit in Garren Palmer with a RBI single.
    “It was a big hit. The wind was blowing out to right field, and he did a nice job of staying on the ball and hitting the ball hard that way. It certainly gave us some momentum and got us back in the game,” said GSU coach Rodney Hennon about Griffin's seventh-inning homer.
    Will Jackson held North Florida (13-11) scoreless over the final four frames and retired the last seven batters he faced in order. Jackson struck out four and allowed just two hits after entering in the fifth inning.
    “We got a great effort from Will Jackson to have an opportunity to get back in the ball game. I am proud of the kids for battling back but just came up short,” Hennon said. “I thought he [Jackson]  got in a nice rhythm out there. He was throwing his breaking ball for strikes consistently and mixing his pitches well.”
    Dan VanSickle retired the eighth inning with a double play and tossed a scoreless ninth inning to record his second save of the season. VanSickle (2) allowed four hits but no runs over two innings.
    The Ospreys jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the fourth inning.
    Jordan Nolan held GSU to three runs over the first six innings to earn his first victory of the season.
    Nolan (1-1) allowed eight hits and struck out three batters.
    Tripp Sheppard was tagged with the loss after allowing a three-run homer to James Abbatinozzi in the third inning.
    Sheppard (0-1) surrendered four hits and struck out two batters over one inning.
    The Eagles finish with 17 hits, the most in 14 games and fourth largest total of the season.
    Mizell was one of three Eagles with three hits, while Griffin plated four runs on his third long ball of the year and a third inning single.
    Corbin Olmstead led the Ospreys, who recorded 13 hits, with three hits, including his fourth home run of the season in the first inning.
    Abbatinozzi finished with three hits as well and plated five runs.
    The Eagles remain on the road this weekend when they travel to Davidson for a three-game Southern Conference series.
    The three-game set against the first place Wildcats starts Friday at 6 p.m.
    Sam Howard will start the first game for GSU.

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