SATURDAY, JUNE 04, 2011
Baseball defeats Manhattan in NCAA Tournament, 5-4
The JU baseball team found different ways to plate runs en route to a 5-4 victory against Manhattan at the Gainesville Regional of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.
With the scored tied at one in the fifth inning, the Dolphins (37-23) used two sacrifice flies and a bases-loaded walk in the next two frames to set up the win. Sophomore Adam Brett Walker also drove in two runs on three hits to help total. Walker’s day helped him set the new single-season records for hits and total bases.
JU will play the loser of Saturday’s #16 Miami/#2 Florida matchup tomorrow at noon on ESPNU.
“We did the little things right to get the win,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “We tried to do much yesterday which hurt us. I wanted us to get back to the basics today and that is what we did. Overall, we get another day to play and we are looking forward to it.”
Junior Steven Eagerton (9-0) earned the win for the Dolphins after limiting the Jaspers (34-19) to two runs on nine hits and three strikeouts in seven innings of work. It was also his 11th straight victory which puts him into the top three nationally for the longest active streak.
Freshman Chris Anderson allowed an unearned run in 1.1 relief innings and senior Chris Kaminski struck out two batters with the bases-loaded in the ninth to get his 16th career save – tying the JU school record.
Jaspers starter Eric Luksis (7-4) took the loss in their finale, allowing four runs on five hits and three strikeouts in 5.1 innings. Nick Camastro and Anthony Vega each had three hits to pace the Manhattan offense.
In the top of the first inning, Walker tied the single-season record in hits with a two-out double down the left field line to plate sophomore Dan Gulbransen and give JU a 1-0 lead.
With one out in the Manhattan fourth inning, Austin Sheffield and Ramon Oretga each picked up consecutive singles. Eagerton induced a double-play ball to short, but Kyle Murphy beat the turn to first to keep the inning alive. Vega followed with a single to right field to plate Sheffield and tie the game.
Senior Alex Swenson gave the Dolphins their first hit in two innings with a single to right field to start the fifth inning. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and to third by a balk before senior Chris Connelly plated Swenson with a fly out to center to regain the lead.
The Dolphins tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning to take a 4-1 advantage.
Junior Jonathan Murphy walked to start the inning and Gulbransen was hit by a pitch in the next at-bat, while Walker followed with a single to load the bases. After a strikeout out, Luksis walked Esterlin Perozo which plated Murphy. Luksis was lifted for Mike Giordano, who allowed a sacrifice fly from Swenson to right field to score Gulbransen.
Walker added a two-out RBI single for JU in the seventh inning, but the Jaspers matched the Dolphins in the bottom of the frame with a two-out, run-scoring single by Camastro to make it a 5-2 contest.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Jaspers got two walks and a single to load the bases. FAnderson relieved freshman Jimmy Appley and struck out the first batter. Manhattan snuck a run across on a single through the right side, but Anderson induced a double play in the next at-bat to kill the really.
The Jaspers would not go down quietly as they got bases-loaded with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning. Anderson was lifted for Kaminski and he struck out the first batter, but Manhattan cut the deficit to a run on a throwing error. Kaminski struck out Murphy to end the game and secure the JU victory.
Fans can watch the tournament on ESPN3.com or through live stats by clicking the links on JUDolphins.com.