Jacksonville Sports Day

Season-High 20 Hits Powers UNF Past Georgia Southern

Photo by UNF

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – North Florida (31-16) racked up a season-high 20 hits and scored in all but two trips to the plate in a 13-4 win over Georgia Southern (29-20). Junior Alex Merritt collected five hits, matching the D-1 era single-game record for hits in a game.

The game was never in doubt after the Ospreys scored 10 runs in the first four innings. The Ospreys broke the game open in the bottom of the third with a five-run spurt on five hits. It was the 12th time this season North Florida has rallied for five or more runs in an inning.

Senior Kyle Brooks had a hit in each of his first three at bats including a two-run double to left field to cap the game-changing rally in the third. He finished the night 4-for-6 with three RBIs and a run scored. It was the second time this season and fifth time in his career he’s produced four hits. He extended his hit streak to a team-high 11 games.

All five of Merritt’s hits were singles and he became the 13th UNF player since 2006 to record five hits in a game. The three runs scored also equaled a career-high and he raised his batting average to .326 on the season.

Making his first career start on the mound, sophomore Adam Polansky allowed just two hits and a run in 3.2 innings pitched. With the Ospreys using predetermined rotation in the contest, he was credited with his first win of the season and second of his career. The right-hander struck out two batters walked none.

Senior Nick Karmeris continued to swing a hot bat and went 3-for-5 with an RBI and run scored. He is tied for the team lead with 18 multiple-hit games and has two or more hits in five of his last six games.

Dakota Higdon and Corbin Olmstead each collected two hits in the contest. Olmstead scored three times for the second time in three games which ties a career single-game high. He is third on the team with 37 runs scored and second on the squad with 62 hits.

In his fourth relief appearance of the year, sophomore Matt Vaka came on for Polansky in the fourth. He allowed one earned run over the next 2.1 innings. The trio of Daniel Moritz, Alex Smith and Austin Howze combined to throw three shutout innings to close the game out. Smith and Howze each recorded a strikeout in the contest. As a staff the Ospreys induced 11 fly ball outs, 11 ground outs and four strikeouts.

The Ospreys will look for the midweek sweep on and their fifth-straight victory over Georgia Southern on Wednesday when they travel to Statesboro. The Ospreys will have freshman right-hander Frank German (1-3) on the hill and he will be opposed by righty Brian Eichhorn (3-2). First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. at J.I. Clements Stadium.

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