JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The road woes continued for the Lipscomb baseball team Friday night as the home-standing North Florida Ospreys used 16 hits to power past the Bisons 15-0 in Atlantic Sun Conference action at Dusty Rhodes Field.
“First I have to give North Florida credit,” Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “They hit the ball well all game long and we really had trouble getting them out at times. Our guys are not hitting the ball right now and we have to get it fixed. We have not played well the past few games, but I look forward to getting back on track tomorrow.”
After a scoreless first inning, North Florida (21-25, 10-12 A-Sun) jumped on the board in the home half of the second. Trent Higginbothem reached base on a throwing error from Bisons third baseman Austin Sistrunk, when his throw to first pulled Adam Lee off the bag. The Ospreys then banged three consecutive hits, including back-to-back doubles from Garrick Ferguson and Kyle Brooks to plate four in the frame.
“When you make a mistake like that error, it seems to compound at times,” Forehand said. ”That is something all baseball teams have to fight through, especially us when our offense is not on. Everything is connected offensively and defensively.
“We have a good baseball team and we have to get through this. We have to get some energy and momentum going, whatever it takes.”
North Florida’s offense put the pedal to the metal and showed why it is the league’s top offense, plating two in the third, three in the fourth, four in the fifth and two in the sixth.
The Bisons (27-23, 14-8 A-Sun) struggled at the plate most of the night, but was led offensively by junior center fielder Jonathan Allison’s 2-for-5 night at the dish. With two outs in the third, Allison roped his 13th double of the season into the left center gap, but was stranded at second when senior right fielder Drew Adams popped up to first to end the frame.
Hunter Hanks took over for Sistrunk at third base in the sixth. The freshman connected for two singles in his only two at-bats.
“Hanks came in and played well today,” Forehand said. “He was able to get a couple of hits and we could really use his bat to help us get things going.”
Seven batters for the Ospreys collected multi-hit games, led by Corbin Olmstead’s 3-for-3 night at the dish. Olmstead cranked a 2-run bomb over the scoreboard just beyond the left field fence in the fourth to put the game out of reach and give UNF a 9-run lead.
Knuckleballer Ian Martinez-McGraw dropped to 7-3 on his junior campaign after working two-and-one-third innings and giving up two earned runs on seven hits. He struck out two and did not allow a walk.
Jacob Knott, Connor Moynihan, Dalton Curtis and Geordie Carlson made relief appearances in the loss. Perhaps Carlson was the most effective, working the final two innings and striking out three. The southpaw gave up two hits and did not allow a run.
With the win David Trexler improved to 6-2 for the Ospreys. He threw seven shutout frames and gave up just six hits. He walked three and punched out two.
The Bisons have been held scoreless over the last 23 innings of play.
“Right now everyone recognizes that we are not doing the things we need to do to score runs. Sometimes you can talk so much about it and it doesn’t get any better. But in 13 hours we go right back at it and that is the best kind of medicine after a loss like this.”
Lipscomb will try to avoid its seventh consecutive road loss on Saturday. The first pitch of game two is scheduled to be thrown at noon central.