After having its four-game winning streak snapped, the JU baseball team (16-14, 8-4) will return to the friendly confines of John Sessions Stadium to host ETSU (17-11, 6-3) beginning on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
JU leads the all-time series against ETSU, 8-4, including a three-game sweep over the Bucs last season in Johnson City, Tenn. Since ETSU joined the A-Sun in 2007, the road team has swept the season series.
Friday night’s game can be heard live on1010XL with Barry Milligan calling all of the action. All three games can also be followed on Live Stats by logging onto JUDolphins.com.
JU has had a pair of four-game winning streaks on the year....the Dolphins are 1-10 on the year when not hitting a home runs as opposed to an 15-4 record with a home run...with a loss at No. 8 Florida, the Dolphins dropped their record to 5-7 on the road this season...the Dolphins are 3-7 in their last 10 games against ranked opponents - including a 1-2 mark in 2010.
Murphy breaks out
An A-Sun all-Freshman selection last season, sophomore outfielder Jonathan Murphy had a lot of high expectations for him in 2010 but it took a while to get started.
After starting the year on an 0-for-13 slump, Murphy saw himself playing sparingly and was hitting a paltry .103 (4-39) with only one extra-base hit (triple) on March 23.
The coaching staff decided to make a change and keep him in the lineup to work his way out of it and the move has proved beneficial for both parties.
Since being inserted into the lineup on a regular basis on March 23, Murphy is hitting .359 (14-39) with three doubles, a triple, two home runs, 11 RBI and a .641 slugging percentage.
During that span, he has raised his batting average just over 130 points to .234.
Producing more than just cheese
Thus far in 2010, the Wisconsin freshman duo of Dan Gulbransen and Adam Brett Walker are making Dolphin fans contemplate Cheesehead gear despite the Jacksonville Jaguars living across the St. John’s River.
The initial thought process for the JU coaching staff was to bring the duo along slowly to get them used to the college game. Instead of battling for playing time, the duo is battling for the title of Atlantic Sun Conference “Freshman of the Year.”
Gulbransen, a 5-foot-10, 205 pound, center fielder from Appleton, currently leads the squad with 30 runs, 34 RBI, a .533 on-base percentage and 31 walks. He also ranks second with a .388 batting average, 40 hits, seven home runs and a .689 slugging percentage.
A four-year starter at Fox Valley Lutheran HS, Gulbransen finished his prep career with 126 hits and 26 home runs.
A four-time all-conference selection, he was named first team all-state and all-area while garnering Eastern Valley Conference “Player of the Year” honors.
Walker, a 6-foot-5, 225 pound, OF/DH from Milwaukee, leads JU with 11 home runs and a.735 slugging percentage while ranking second with 30 RBI and fourth with a .337 batting average.
A three-year starter at Milwaukee Lutheran HS, Walker was named all-state, all-area and all-conference as a junior and senior. He played in the Brewer Classic at MIller Park and was an invitee to the 2009 Powerhouse Showcase Home Run Derby at Tropicana Field.
In overall team production, the Wisconsin duo has combined for 73-of-327 hits, 14-of-65 doubles, 18-of-37 home runs and 64-of-219 RBI.
Hawkins named to Wallace Watch List
Junior Jamaal Hawkins has been coming into his own over the last month and his efforts have put him on the national radar as he was named to the Wallace Watch List for shortstops.
Things didn’t start off so hot for Hawkins at the beginning of the season as he batted .250 (7-28) with only two extra base hits (two doubles) in the first 11 games.
After a short benching, Hawkins was inserted back into the lineup on March 10 and has been nothing short of phenomenal ever since.
Since March 10, Hawkins is tearing the cover off of the ball by hitting a sizzling .444 (32-72) with nine doubles, five home runs, 22 RBI, 56 total bases, a .778 slugging percentage and a .488 on base percentage.
He did not play in the contest at Florida on April 6 due to back spasms in pre-game batting practice.