FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2012
Baseball drops series opener to FGCU
Sophomore Jimmy Appleby
Sophomore Jimmy Appleby
Florida Gulf Coast took the opener of an Atlantic Sun Conference series over the JU baseball team, 7-3, Friday night at John Sessions Stadium.

The Eagles (15-20, 6-7 A-Sun) secured their seventh straight win at John Sessions Stadium with the help of big RBI hits from Kirby Retzer and Sean Dwyer. Ricky Knapp (5-3) struck out eight batters in eight innings to earn the win on the mound.

“We didn’t have it tonight,” JU head coach Terry Alexander said. “They grabbed the lead from us early and got a good pitching performance from their starter. We will look to even things up tomorrow.”

The Dolphins (12-23, 2-8) had four different players with multiple hits. Sophomore Jimmy Appleby recorded a two-run single in the ninth inning, while junior Dan Gulbransen drove in an early run.

Junior Drew Woods (0-2) took the loss by allowing four runs on seven hits and four walks in four innings. Freshman Nolan Peterson pitched two scoreless relief innings and junior Corben Madden had a scoreless ninth inning.

Ryan Gebhart led off the game with a double for the Eagles and advanced to third on a fly out in the next-bat. Brandon Bednar scored Gebhart with a ground out for the early advantage.

The Dolphins matched the Eagles in the bottom of the first inning after senior Jonathan Murphy scored on a Gulbransen single.

With one out in the second inning, the Eagles recorded three straight singles to load the bases. Retzer hit a two-run double in the next at-bat to give FGCU a 3-1 lead.

After a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning, FGCU took a 7-1 advantage in the sixth on three-run homer from Dwyer.

Knapp stranded two JU runners on base in the fifth inning before retiring nine of the final 10 batters he faced to finish his night.

The Dolphins found some life again in the ninth inning as junior Jake Huxtable and Ethan Loosen led off with singles. Senior Matt Frank followed with a walk to load the bases. Appleby tagged the second Eagles reliever of inning with a single to center field, scoring Huxtable and Loosen. After a struck out, Brown gave way to Harrison Cooley who got Murphy to fly out but junior Adam Brett Walker II singled to reload the bases. Gulbransen battled to a full count in the next at-bat, but Cooley got him to fly out to secure the save.

These same two teams play again Saturday at 1 p.m. in John Sessions Stadium. Fans can follow the action through the live links at JUDolphins.com.