SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012
Baseball rallies to beat Fairfield, 5-4
The JU baseball team closed the Wingate by Wyndham Invitational with a comeback win against Fairfield, 5-4, on Sunday at John Sessions Stadium.
After falling twice Saturday, the Dolphins (10-11) scored three runs in the seventh inning to erase an early deficit for the lead. Freshman Nolan Peterson (1-1) tossed 3.1 scoreless relief frames for the win and made two stout defensive plays, including tagging a game-tying Stags (7-11) runner out at home to end the game.
“This is the type of win we needed,” JU head coach Terry Alexander said. “With our backs against the wall, we finally found some success and put together a good victory. Now our goal is to build on this as we get ready for A-Sun play next weekend.”
JU trailed 4-2 in the seventh inning when Fairfield starter and eventual losing pitched EJ Asworth walked sophomore Taylor Ratliff to start the frame. Senior Jonathan Murphy pushed Ratliff to third on a single and advanced himself to second base on the throw. Junior Dan Gulbransen plated Ratliff with a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to 4-3.
After a walk to junior Adam Brett Walker II, the Stags brought Mike Bordonaro into to pitch. The runners moved up on a pass ball before sophomore Chris Anderson had a sacrifice fly to score Murphy and junior Jake Huxtable plated Walker II for the 5-4 advantage.
Peterson hit Tyler Wosleger with one out in the eighth inning. Wosleger advanced to second during the next at-bat on a pass ball. Anthony Hajjar hit a dribbler to the left side in the next at-bat, but Peterson came off the mound and made the strong throw to first base for the out. Peterson struck out the next batter to leave Wosleger stranded.
Fairfield didn’t go down easily as Sebastian Salvo led off the ninth inning with a single. He moved to second on sacrifice bunt and got pinch ran for Jack Giannini. Giannini advanced to third on a pass ball before Peterson stuck out the Billy Zolga for the second out. With 1-0 count in the next at-bat, Peterson hit the back stop with a high pitch. Senior Patrick Long caught the ricochet and tossed it to Peterson at home who tagged out Giannini to end the game.
Huxtable and Murphy each finished with two hits for the JU offense. Peterson finished with three strikeouts, while junior Drew Woods kept the Dolphins in the game with an unearned run and four strikeouts in 3.1 innings of relief.
Ashworth allowed two runs on three hits and two walks in 0.1 innings for the Stags. Scott Warwick allowed two runs on five hits in five innings for the no-decision. Larry Cornelia had four hits to pace the Fairfield offense.
The Stags scored two runs in the first inning on a JU error, while making a 3-0 advantage in the second inning on a Cornelia RBI single. JU had two runs in the third inning before Fairfield pushed the lead to 4-2 on a Hajjar single in the sixth.
The Dolphins will play the first of two contests this season against Georgia Southern Tuesday in Statesboro, Ga. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.