SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Baseball pulls off the improbable with 11-7 win over Kennesaw State in 10 innings
With a 6-0 deficit on the scoreboard after three innings and a conference sweep staring them in the face for the first time since 2008, the Dolphins staged a comeback for the ages by tying the contest in the eighth before plating four runs in the 10th as the JU baseball team rallied for an 11-7 win over Kennesaw State, Saturday afternoon at Stillwell Stadium.
JU (34-20, 19-11) got on the board with four runs in the fourth before tying the game with three runs in the eighth and taking the lead for good with four runs in the 1oth. The Dolphins will enter next week’s Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament as the No. 2 seed and will open against No. 5 ETSU on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET in Nashville, Tenn.
KSU (32-23, 18-11), which will enter next week as the No. 3 seed, scored only one run in the sixth before being held scoreless in the final four innings while a costly error in the seventh allowed JU to tie the game in the eighth.
With the contest tied, 7-7, the Dolphins took their first and most important lead of the contest in the 10th when senior right fielder Esterlin Perozo led off the frame by beating out an infield single to second. Sophomore center fielder Dan Gulbransen put runners on second and third with a double into the right-field corner. Junior left fielder Jonathan Murphy followed with a bases-clearing double to right center before sophomore first baseman Adam Brett Walker put the icing on the cake with a two-run bomb to right center.
“This was an amazing game to be a part of,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “We got into an early hole but something clicked for us. We had to rely on everybody today and that full team effort is what got us over the top. I’m proud of the resiliency of this team and I’m looking forward to starting the tournament next week.”
Freshman Jimmy Appleby (1-0) notched his first collegiate win at the right time by hurling two innings of scoreless relief. Among the eight pitchers used by JU, senior Brian Gilroy, freshmen Chris Anderson and Will Flor and junior Sean Green each contributed to 2.2 innings of scoreless relief. Senior Matthew Tomshaw got the no-decision after allowing two runs on four hits with four strikeouts in two innings.
J.B. Johnson (4-3) was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs on four hits in 1.1 innings of relief. Bryan Blough also got the no-decision despite hurling two shutout innings.
Murphy finished 2-for-6 with a double and three RBI while Walker finished 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI. Gulbransen (double, RBI) and Perozo (two RBI) also finished with multiple hits.
Ronnie Freeman led the Owls by going 3-for-6 while Sean McClurken (two RBI) and Chris Wages (double) also finished with multiple hits.
The Owls took a 2-0 lead in the second when Will Howard hit an RBI bloop single to center and McClurken drove in a run with an infield single to second.
KSU increased the margin to 6-0 in the third when Drew Fowlkes hit a three-run double to left center and McClurken dropped an RBI single down the right field line.
The Dolphins cut the deficit to 6-4 in the fourth when a run scored from third on a passed ball, Perozo pulled a two-run single through the left side and Gulbransen hit an RBI single up the middle.
The Owls made it 7-4 in the sixth when Andy Chriscaden hit a solo shot into the deck are in left field.
The Dolphins evened the contest, 7-7, in the eighth when a run scored on a fielding error by Peyton Hart at short (which would have ended the inning), an RBI single down the left field line by Murphy and a run scored on a bases loaded walk by junior third baseman Kevin Lehane.