JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The North Florida Ospreys took a two-game lead over the Georgia Southern Baseball team in the four-game series after a 7-4 win on Friday night at Harmon Stadium. The Ospreys tallied all seven runs in the middle three innings and held GSU scoreless for six innings after a first-inning run.
North Florida (6-3) broke open the game and took a six-run lead after a five-run sixth inning. A pair of singles to start the frame set the table for homeruns by Ryan Roberson and Alex Bacon. The runs were enough for Michael Renner (2-1) to earn the win in his third start. Renner gave up all four runs on eight hits and struck out six in 7.1 innings.
Chris Beck (1-1) avoided the early trouble that he had in his first two starts for Georgia Southern (5-5) but suffered his first loss of the season. The junior faced one over the minimum in the first three innings but ran into trouble in the fourth before being lifted after the Ospreys batted around in the sixth inning. He allowed all seven runs on nine hits and walked just one batter to five strikeouts.
The Eagles battled back to cut the deficit to three runs in the eighth inning but were unable to capitalize on a lead off walk in the ninth inning after Tyler Moore shut the door for his first save of the season. Scooter Williams, one of three GSU players to record a multi-hit game, led off the inning with a double and scored on Eric Phillips' first long ball of the season. T.D. Davis kept the inning alive with a well hit ball into the right field corner and later scored on a single by Casey Kicklighter.
North Florida tallied three-straight hits to open the fourth inning and took an early 2-1 lead on a sacrifice fly to center field off the bat of Roberson. Joe Wielbruda scored the tying run after leading off the inning with a hard-hit single to right field. Tyler Marincov followed an infield single with a RBI base hit to left, but was stranded after Beck retired the next three hitters in order.
Georgia Southern struck first for the second time in as many games in the series and drove across a first inning run to hold an early advantage. Phillips drove in Michael Burruss, who doubled with one out in the inning, with a base hit out to center field.
The four-game series comes to Statesboro tomorrow at 6 p.m. before concluding at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. Lucas Hart (1-0, 5.40) is scheduled to make his first career start on the mound for the Eagles.