Baseball drops A-Sun opener to Kennesaw State, 9-2
Sophomore Taylor Ratliff
Sophomore Taylor Ratliff
Six first-inning runs doomed the JU baseball team in a 9-2 loss to Kennesaw State Saturday in Atlantic Sun Conference action at John Sessions Stadium.

The Owls (13-9, 3-1 A-Sun) scored all of their nine runs in the first three innings to take the series opener. Will Howard recorded three hits for the Owls, while Andy Chriscaden highlighted the first inning with a three-run home run to left field.

Josh Carr (5-1) earned his fifth win in sixth starts after allowing two runs on eight hits and eight strikeouts in nine innings.

“We got off to a bad start,” JU head coach Terry Alexander said. “We were flat and they took advantage of it. Now, we have to battle back to get the next one."

The Dolphins (10-13, 0-1) got two hits each from junior Jake Huxtable and sophomore Taylor Ratliff. Sophomore Chris Anderson (2-1) took the loss, allowing six runs on six hits and two walks in 0.2 innings. Juniors Wes Torrez and Corben Madden and sophomore Adam Maxon held the Owls scoreless in the final six innings.

In the Kennesaw State first inning, Aaron Dobbs led off with an infield single. Anderson got a fly out, but walked Andy Almonte in the next at-bat. Chris McGowan and Ronnie Freeman followed with consecutive RBI singles, while Chriscaden cleared the bases with his homer to left field for the 5-0 lead. Dobbs came back around and capped the inning with a single to left field to score Chriscaden.

The Dolphins got a run-scoring single from junior Adam Brett Walker II in the bottom of the inning, but Howard had an RBI hit in the second inning. The Owls tacked on two more runs in the third inning on an Almonte hit and a Freeman sacrifice fly to right field.

Carr avoided jams by the Dolphins with a double play in fourth straight innings (4-7) to quash the threats.

: Senior Matt Frank broke it up with a lead-off triple in the eighth inning and scored in the next at-bat on a ground out. Ratliff doubled to left field, but Carr retired six of the final seven batters to end the contest.

Because of the continued rain storms in the area, the teams cancelled game two of Saturday’s doubleheader. The Dolphins and Owls will wrap the series with doubleheader tomorrow beginning at Noon. Game two of the doubleheader will be seven innings.

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