SUNDAY, APRIL 01, 2012
Baseball falls twice to Belmont
Junior Dan Gulbransen
Junior Dan Gulbransen
Belmont was not fooling around Sunday by downing the JU baseball team twice, 6-4 & 4-3 (7), in Atlantic Sun action to complete the three-game sweep at John Sessions Stadium.

The Bruins (18-10, 7-2 A-Sun) won the suspended game from Saturday with the help of a three-run seventh inning. The Dolphins (11-18, 1-5 A-Sun) rallied to a run in the second game, but the Bruins left the tying run stranded at third base to secure the victory.

“The one big inning continues to haunt us,” JU head coach Terry Alexander said. “We shot ourselves in the foot during one inning each game which resulted in the losses. If we can find a way to play sound baseball the whole game, we can put together a good streak.”

Belmont reliever Josh Davis (5-1) earned the win in game one after allowing three runs, one earned, on four hits and four strikeouts in 3.1 innings. James Buckelew (4-0) had an unearned run in four innings to get the second win, while Drew Fanchier secured the save in both games.

JU reliever Wes Torrez (0-1) took the game one loss by surrendering four runs, three earned, on three hits during an inning of work. Sophomore Chris Anderson (3-2) allowed four unearned runs on four hits, six walks and six strikeouts in seven innings for the second loss.

Offensively, Judah Akers, Matt Beaty and Drew Turner each had two hits for the Bruins in the first contest.

Junior Dan Gulbransen finished a triple shy of the cycle for JU in game one by going 3-for-4 with a home run, a double and two RBI. Junior Adam Brett Walker II had a two-run home run in the second game.

Belmont opened the day leading 2-1 in the fifth inning of Saturday’s suspended contest for rain. Torrez retired the first two Belmont hitters of the sixth inning, but William Dodd reached on an error. Zac Mitchell doubled Dodd home in the next at-bat to make it a 3-1 Belmont lead.

Gulbransen closed the JU gap by leading off the sixth inning with a home run to right-center field. Walker II followed with a singled to left field. McRae laid down a sacrifice bunt that the Belmont catcher threw into right field, allowing Walker II to score and tie the contest. McRae reached third on the play and scored in the next at-bat on a sacrifice fly from junior Jake Huxtable for the 4-3 lead.

In the Belmont seventh inning, Greag Brody was hit by a pitch to start the frame. Akers followed with a sacrifice bunt that the Dolphins threw away to allow a Brody to score to tie the game. Beaty singled home Akers in the next at-bat to regain a 5-4 advantage. Beaty later scored on a single to center field from Jamie Ritchie

Gulbransen tried to spark the Dolphins again with a leadoff double to left field. After a strike out, Gulbrasnen advanced to third base on a ground out. The Bruins induced another ground out to quash the threat. Fanchier pitched a scoreless ninth to secure the win.

Trailing 4-1 in the sixth inning of game two, Gulbransen reached on an infield single for the Dolphins. Walker II followed with a home run to center field, cutting the JU deficit to one.

Anderson left two runners stranded in the Belmont seventh inning before sophomore Jimmy Appley opened JU’s seventh with a pinch-hit double to left field. Junior Ethan Loosen advanced Appleby to third on a sacrifice bunt. Sophomore Zac Houck laced a ground out to the right side, but Beaty made a diving stop at first base and flipped it to Mitchell for the out to hold up Appleby. Senior Jonathan Murphy worked his at-bat for a walk, but Fanchier finally quieted Gulbransen’s bat with a fly out to right field to end the game.

The Bruins earned a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning on a balk and pass ball. JU scored on an error in the bottom of the inning. Belmont tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning from two JU miscues.

The Dolphins continue the home stand Tuesday when they host Bethune-Cookman at John Sessions Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.