FRIDAY, MARCH 18, 2011
Baseball out slugs ETSU, 14-10, in series opener
Dan Gulbransen
Dan Gulbransen
The Dolphin offense started with a fury with seven runs in the first inning and ended with a bang with five runs in the final two frames as the JU baseball team out slugged ETSU, 14-10, Friday evening at Cardinal Park.

JU (12-6, 3-1) plated 14 runs on 20 hits while the bullpen held off a late surge by ETSU (11-3, 4-1) to pull out the series opener.

“ETSU has been scoring a lot of runs this year and I was glad to get that early lead,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “Our bullpen made things interesting but they got the big out when we needed it. I was also proud to see our offense generate some more runs late to give us some breathing room. It’s always a high scoring affair when we play each other and tonight was no different.”

Junior Steve Eagerton (4-0) won his fourth straight decision after allowing seven runs on eight hits with a walk and four strikeouts in 6.1 innings.

John Long (1-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing eight runs (five earned) on nine hits with a walk and a strikeout in 2.1 innings of work.

Sophomore center fielder Dan Gulbransen was perfect from the plate, finishing 4-for-4 with a double, a home run and two RBI while crossing the plate a career-high four times. Freshman third baseman also had a career day by going 4-for-6 with a double, a home run and four RBI. Sophomore first baseman Adam Brett Walker also added to the fireworks by finishing 4-for-6 with two RBI. Freshman second baseman Chris Moye (two RBI) and senior right fielder Chris Connelly also added multiple hits.

Bo Reeder led the Bucs by finishing 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI while Dylan Pratt went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI.

The Dolphins jumped out of the gates white hot by plating seven runs on six hits in the first. Ratliff would start things off with his first collegiate home run over the right field wall before an RBI single by Walker, a two-run single by Moye and a three-run double into the left-field corner by Ratliff.

ETSU would make it 7-1 in the bottom of the frame when Reeder hit a solo homer to left.

JU increased the margin to 8-1 in the second when junior designated hitter Kevin Lehane hit a sacrifice fly to right.

The Bucs cut the deficit to 8-4 in the third when Reeder hit a three-run shot to left.

The Dolphins answered back with a run in the fourth when junior shortstop Jimmy Howick hit an RBI double to left center.

ETSU cut the margin to 9-6 in the fifth when Dylan Pratt hit a two-run homer to left center with two outs.

The Bucs made it 9-8 in the seventh when Derek Trent was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Andrew Green drove in a run with a bases loaded walk. With two outs and the bases still loaded, freshman Will Flor got Derek Niesman to pop out to short to end the threat.

JU got some breathing room in the eighth when Gulbransen hit a two-run homer down the left field line.

The Dolphins would add three more runs in the ninth when junior left fielder Jonathan Murphy hit a two-run double to right center and Walker hit an RBI single up the middle.

The Bucs would add two more runs in the bottom of the ninth before senior Chris Kaminski got Nieman to fly out to right.

The Dolphins and Bucs will continue its series on Saturday at 2 p.m. The contest can be viewed on GameTracker and the ETSU Sports Network by logging onto JUDolphins.com.