SATURDAY, MAY 05, 2012
Baseball falls to ETSU, 7-6
Junior Dan Gulbransen
Junior Dan Gulbransen
The JU baseball team had its ninth-inning comeback fall short for a 7-6 loss to East Tennessee State in A-Sun action Saturday night at John Sessions Stadium.

Trailing 7-1 to start the ninth inning, the Dolphins (15-33, 5-15) cut the deficit to a run with the help of two-run hits by sophomore Chris Anderson and freshman Garrett Ruckel. Anderson moved to second on an error with two outs, but Clinton Freeman recorded a strikeout to secure the save.

The Buccaneers (21-25, 7-13) stranded 15 JU base runners, including 10 in scoring position. JU finished the contest with a game-high 16 hits.

“We didn’t get going until it was too late,” JU head coach Terry Alexander said. “I loved our fight in the end, but we have to do a better job of hitting in runners. We look forward to trying to get the series win tomorrow.”

John Long (6-5) allowed a run on 13 hits and struck out six batters in 7.1 innings for the win. Logan Rice allowed four runs in 0.2 relief innings, while Freeman struck out two batters his first save of the season. Freeman also went 3-for-5 at the plate before moving from first base to pitch in the ninth.

Junior Drew Woods (0-3) took the loss for JU after allowing four runs, two earned, on nine hits and four walks in 5.2 innings. Sophomores Will Flor and Adam Maxon each had a scoreless 1.1 innings.

Juniors Dan Gulbransen and Adam Brett Walker II each had a three-hit day. Ruckel and junior Ethan Loosen recorded two hits apiece.

In the JU ninth inning, Gulbransen led off with a single, while junior Jake Huxtable walked and sophomore Jimmy Appleby was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Freshman Alex McRae drew a walk to score a run which prompted Freeman to come in for Rice. Ruckel doubled down the right field line in the next at-bat, scoring Huxtable and Appleby. Freeman recorded two straight outs before allowing Anderson to single home McRae and Ruckel for the 7-6 deficit. Anderson moved to second on the play from an error, but Freeman struck out Walker II to quash the rally.

Freeman gave ETSU a 1-0 lead in the third inning when he singled home Andrew Green after he doubled to start the frame.

In the fourth inning, Derek Niesman reached on a catcher’s interference, while Kerry Doane followed with a single. After a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners, Cory Betterson hit a two-run single to center field for the 3-0 lead. He scored on the next play from a throwing error to extend the advantage.

JU stranded a runner at third base four times in the first six innings. They finally broke free of it when Gulbransen plated Murphy with a single in the seventh inning. ETSU scored three runs on two JU relievers in the eighth inning to make it 7-1.

The Dolphins will look to bounce back tomorrow in the home finale at 1 p.m. Fans can follow the action through the live links at JUDolphins.com.