FRIDAY, MARCH 04, 2011
Baseball scores late and often in 20-4 win over Wagner
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Tony Mollica
Tony Mollica
Junior shortstop Jimmy Howick had a career day by going 3-for-5 with a double, a triple and six RBI while the Dolphins poured on 14 runs in the final two innings to get the JU baseball team got back in the win column with a 20-4 victory over Wagner, Friday evening at John Sessions Stadium.

JU (7-3) led 6-0 through five innings but WC (1-4) cut the margin to 6-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh. From there, the Dolphins would plate eight in the seventh and six in the eighth to record their first 20 run contest since a 22-6 win over Lipscomb April 30, 2010.

“This was a long game to start a series but it was good to see our bats get going,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “We have to adjust a little bit with a new schedule for tomorrow but we just need to keep our focus and take care of business.”

Freshman Tony Mollica (2-0) earned the win after allowing only two runs on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work. Freshman Zac Houck, sophomore Joe Ryan and junior Jonathan Jones combined for 2.1 innings of scoreless relief.

Matt Morris (0-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing three runs on six hits with three walks and a strikeout in four innings.

Along with Howick, freshman third baseman Taylor Ratliff (double, three runs), junior left fielder Jonathan Murphy (triple, two RBI), sophomore first baseman Adam Brett Walker (double), senior designated hitter Kevin Lehane, senior right fielder Chris Connelly and freshman catcher Patrick Long each finished with multiple hits. Sophomore center fielder Dan Gulbransen and sophomore pinch-hitter Michael Bertot each finished with three RBI.

Kevin McDonald led the Seahawks by going 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI while Jack Rice added two hits.

JU jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the third when Murphy hit an RBI triple down the left field line. The Dolphins would add two more runs in the fourth when Howick hit an RBI single through the left side and Lehane scored from third on a wild pitch.

JU increased the lead to 6-0 in the fifth when Ratliff stole home on a double steal and Howick hit a two-run double to right center.

The Seahawks made it 6-2 in the sixth when Seth Boyd hit a sacrifice fly to right and Jon Lucas drove in a run with a bases loaded walk. Freshman Adam Maxon would end the threat by getting Connor Abreau to fly out to center with the bases still full.

WC would cut the margin to 6-4 in the seventh when McDonald hit a two-run single to center.

From there, JU would take over by plating eight runs on four hits in the seventh before plating six runs on six hits in the eighth.

JU and Wagner will complete its series with a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m after moving Sunday’s finale a day earlier due to anticipated rain storms in the Arlington area. The second game of the double dip can be viewed on ASun.TV while both contests can be followed through livestats by logging onto JUDolphins.com.