MONDAY, MARCH 05, 2012
Baseball travels to USF for two-game series Tuesday
Senior Steven Eagerton will start on the hill for JU Tuesday.
Senior Steven Eagerton will start on the hill for JU Tuesday.
The JU baseball team will make a short trip south to take on USF in a two-game series in Tampa, Fla. starting Tuesday.

Tuesday’s first pitch is set for 7 p.m. and can be heard live on 1010Xl beginning with the Bono’s Pregame Show at 6:45 p.m. The finale is scheduled for Wednesday at 4 p.m.

“We are starting to play a little better,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander, who enters the week a game shy of his 700th career win. “We didn’t start last week or Florida A&M series very well, but we showed a lot of composure and were able to get some wins. This is a tough test for us and I know our guys are up for the competition.”

After suffering a two-hit shutout by College of Charleston to begin last week, the Dolphins (4-6) bounced back with two wins against Florida A&M at John Sessions Stadium.

On March 2, the Dolphins lost the lead twice the Rattlers before a walk-off single by freshman Alex McRae helped get an 11-10 win. The Rattlers struck for a 6-0 lead the next day, but JU scored runs in four of the final five innings to hold off its in-state rival.

Junior Jake Huxtable had four hits during the Florida A&M series to move into the team lead in average at .294 (10-34). Sophomore Taylor Ratliff has a team-best 11 hits, while senior Jonathan Murphy leads the Dolphins with nine RBI. Ratliff and junior Adam Brett Walker II are second with eight RBI.

The JU pitching staff is slowly, but surely finding the grove after freshmen Jeff Tanner, Spencer Jack and Nolan Peterson and sophomore Will Flor each added a scoreless relief frame on Saturday.

The Bulls (7-4) enter the week following a three-game sweep against Savannah State at home.

James Ramsay is hitting .326 (15-46) with five RBI and four doubles to pace the Bulls offense. Daniel Rockhold has a team-best 11 RBI, while Todd Brazeal is hitting .310 in nine starts.

The USF pitching staff is led by Derrick Stultz who is 2-0 with two unearned runs and 17 strikeouts in 12.1 innings. Joey Lovecchio is also 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 16 innings.

In the all-time series, JU and USF are tied at 51 apiece. It’s been all USF as of late, winning five of the last seven meetings. The Bulls downed the Dolphins, 9-4, at home last season. JU’s last win was in Tampa, 12-6, on March 10, 2010.

Fans can follow the action through the live links at JUDolphins.com.