JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (School Release)- The Mercer baseball team failed to take advantage of five North Florida errors and struggled once again offensively in a 3-2 series finale loss to the Ospreys on Sunday afternoon at Harmon Stadium.
Mercer (25-10, 7-5 A-Sun) falls to 5-2 in one-run games this season and dropped a weekend series for the first time this season and the first time since losing two-of-three at East Tennessee in April of 2012.
For the third time in as many days, Mercer lit up the scoreboard first after an RBI single by junior Austin Barrett put the Bears ahead early 1-0.
The Orange and Black tried to add to their advantage in the top of the third inning, but a fly out by junior Michael Massi left the bases loaded and the score still 1-0 in favor of Mercer.
The score would remain 1-0 until the bottom of the fourth when sophomore Drew Weeks yanked a solo home run to left field to pull UNF into a tie with Mercer at 1-1.
The Ospreys continued to use the long ball to their advantage in the bottom of the fifth after senior Paul Karmeris and junior Tyler Marincov both went yard with solo shots to make the score 3-1 in favor of the home team.
The Bears offense continued to struggle to generate any momentum against North Florida starting pitcher Michael Renner. Following the first inning, Mercer only mustered one hit against the soft throwing left-hander until a hectic top of the eighth.
After singles by Barrett and Massi, senior Logan Gaines lined an RBI single to left field to make the score 3-2.
The Mercer rally ran out of steam going into the ninth as freshman Corbin Olmstead pitched a scoreless frame to secure his fifth save of the season.
Barrett and Gaines each finished 2-for-4 with an RBI to pace a Bears offense that failed to tally 10 or more hits in three-straight contests for just the second time this season.
Mercer is back in action on April 9 when it welcomes Alabama State to Macon for a mid-week contest. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Claude Smith Field.