6/1 - 6/7 ONSL Game of the Week

by Darby Allen

RAMSEUR, NORTH CAROLINA - There’s been quite a few high scoring games this week, but the Hope Mills Rockfish and Jacksonville Ospreys took that phrase to another level with their 16-9 contest on June 7th; the game featured a combined 20 hits and a nine-run inning by the Ospreys, the team that would eventually claim the win. 

It was all Rockfish in the first inning as they took a four-run lead throughout the first frame, featuring a triple by third baseman Malachi Gales, a product of UNC-Greensboro. Defensive miscues by the Ospreys would contribute to Hope Mills pushing across two more before the inning ended, but that didn’t hamper Jacksonville’s ability to produce. The Ospreys would answer in a big way, turning a four run deficit into a five run lead by scoring nine runs in the top of the second inning. Jacksonville would send 11 batters to the plate over the course of the rally, highlighted by Aiden Payne stealing home on a foul pop-up followed by a series of walks and hit by pitches to keep the inning rolling; that would only be the beginning of a monster inning for the Ospreys, as Chase Killeen used the traffic created on the basepaths throughout the inning to add a few RBIs to his name via a bases-clearing triple to score the 6th, 7th, and 8th runs of the inning. 

Despite the high-scoring first few frames, the middle innings wouldn’t have much action, as each team was held scoreless in the third, fourth, and fifth innings. This would change once the Rockfish broke through in the sixth on a passed ball to inch closer in score, ending the inning down just two runs. The game wouldn’t stay this close for long, as Jacksonville found another level throughout the later innings, pushing across three runs in the seventh inning alongside four in the eighth; the Rockfish would try to match the offensive effort of the Ospreys but would ultimately fall shorty, pushing across just one in the eighth and one in the ninth. 

Despite the loss, Alex Lebron, a senior from Coker College was able to limit the high-powered Ospreys offense to four hits and two runs (only one of them earned) over the course of 4.1 innings while racking up five strikeouts. The Rockfish have shown that they have what it takes pitching wise to shut down offenses, but the Ospreys had one of the best offensive games the league has seen this season. Overall, the high scoring match-up had everything fans could hope for in a divisional game, and their next meeting on June 20th will be one to watch if it’s going to be anything like this one. 

The Old North State League is a college summer wood bat league in North Carolina that features 20 teams not including Burlington and Danville. In 2025, the league plans to expand to 24 teams and has been vetting markets and requests in anticipation of announcing the newest additions.