Baseball tops Stetson, 9-6
Sophomore Zachary Houck
Sophomore Zachary Houck
Sophomore Zachary Houck continues to deliver for the JU baseball team as it downed Stetson, 9-6, Thursday night in A-Sun action at Melching Field.

A two-out RBI by Houck in the eighth inning broke a 5-5 tie and helped snap the Dolphins' (12-19, 2-5 A-Sun) five-game losing streak. Houck has recorded a hit in all eight of his starts, including a base knock in the last six contests. Junior Adam Brett Walker II went 3-for-5 with two home runs, three runs and four RBI to pace the JU offense.

“This was a good, hard-fought win,” JU head coach Terry Alexander said. “We started well, but Stetson found a way to get back into it. Our guys did a great job of keeping their composure and finding a way to get the win. Hopefully, we can build on the momentum tomorrow.”

Sophomore Jimmy Appleby (2-0) earned the win for JU by fanning three batters in a scoreless relief inning. Sophomore Chris Anderson got his first save of the season by limiting the Hatters (19-10, 3-4) to a run in 1.1 innings.

Stetson’s Tucker Donahue (2-1) took the loss, allowing Houck’s RBI double in 0.2 innings of work. Kurt Schluter allowed five runs on nine hits in 3.1 innings for the no-decision. Ben Carhart and Robert Crews each had three hits to lead the Hatters’ offense.

JU took the early lead when senior Jonathan Murphy had a one-out single for the Dolphins in the first inning, while junior Dan Gulbransen followed with a walk. Walker II hit a low line drive over the right field fence.

In the second inning, senior Matt Frank led off with a single and advanced to second in the next at-bat on a sacrifice bunt. After a ground out, Frank scored on a Murphy single to left field to give the Dolphins a 4-0 lead. Walker II made it 5-1 in the third inning on a home run to left.

Leading 5-2 in the fourth inning, the Dolphins threatened to break the game open by having bases loaded with one out. Schluter was lifted for Drew Jackson who induced a double play to quash the threat.

The Hatters scored three runs five hits in the fifth inning to tie the contest.

Sam Kimmel opened with a single to left field and scored on Crews double to right field in the next at-bat. Carhart advanced Kimmel to third on an infield single. Mark Jones plated Kimmel with a single up the middle. Carhart later scored on a single to left field to tie the contest.

The Dolphins got the first three batters to reach in the eighth inning to load the bases. The Hatters cut down two runners at home, but Houck hit a double to center field to plate Frank for the 6-5 advantage.

The momentum spilled into the ninth as Gulbransen opened with a home run to right field. Walker II singled in the next at-bat, while Anderson walked. After a sacrifice bunt, freshman Alex McRae scored both runners with a single to give JU a 9-5 lead.

Anderson held off the Hatters in the ninth inning to secure the victory.

Anderson (3-2, 4.02 ERA) is scheduled to face Stetson righty Lindsey Caughel (4-1, 3.76 ERA) in game two of the series Friday at 6:30 p.m.