The Liberty Flames dropped the first game of a four-game, nonconference series to the North Florida Ospreys, 5-0, Friday night at Harmon Stadium.
Liberty falls to 1-4 on the year. North Florida moves to 3-1.
In the top of the second inning, the Flames moved two runners into scoring position at second and third bases. Right fielder Michael Robertson reached on an error and advanced to third on a single by catcher Casey Rasmus. The catcher then stole second. However, Liberty could not strike for the first run of the game. Osprey starter Casey Medlen retired the next two batters on a foul pop to the first baseman and a fly out to left field.
North Florida staked itself to an advantage in the home half of the fourth inning. After striking out, left fielder Alex Bacon reached on a wild pitch and moved to second base on a wild pitch to open the frame. The next batter, third baseman Andrew Karmeris, lined a double to the bottom of the wall to chase home Bacon with the first run of the contest. After a sacrifice bunt advanced the runner to third base, right fielder Tyler Marincov upped the Osprey advantage to 3-0, by hitting his first home run of the year over the left field wall.
In the bottom of the sixth, North Florida added two runs to its lead. Marincov led off the inning by beating out an infield single and advance to second base on a throwing error by Liberty second baseman Zack Haley. Two batters later, Marincov moved to third base on a single by second baseman Alex Hernandez. Shortstop Sam Perry followed with single to left field to plate Marincov, and Hernandez came around to score, when the ball got by Flames left fielder Doug Bream.
Liberty starter Steven Evans takes the loss to fall to 0-1 on the season. The left-hander gave up five runs on seven hits. He struck out eight batters and walked two.
North Florida starter Medlin picks up the win to run his mark to 1-0. The right-hander allowed two hits over 7 1/3 innings. He struck out seven batters and one batters. The senior retired 12-straight batters from the fourth inning through the eighth.
Liberty had three hits in the contest, while North Florida had eight hits. Karmeris, Marincov and Hernandez each had two hits for the Ospreys.
Liberty and North Florida will meet again tomorrow afternoon in doubleheader at Harmon Field. The first game of the twinbill is scheduled for 1 p.m.