TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2008
JU dedicates baseball locker room to longtime supporter Curtis Alexander during Alumni Game
(L-to-R) Curtis, Terry and Connie Alexander
(L-to-R) Curtis, Terry and Connie Alexander
Curtis Alexander, father of head baseball coach Terry Alexander, was honored for his dedication, hard work and support for JU baseball over the past 28 years by having the Dolphin locker room bear his name with a ceremony on Oct. 11 during the Dolphins’ annual alumni gathering on Homecoming weekend.

Alexander, who has been a key element in improvements to John Sessions Stadium, also had a baseball scholarship created in honor of him and his wife, Connie, who have been to every home baseball game since 1980.

“The heart of a baseball team begins in the locker room and Curtis has been at the heart of this program for a long time,” said JU director of athletics Alan Verlander. “The naming of the locker room and the creation of this scholarship will be around forever. It is a perfect tribute to a family who has meant a lot to JU Baseball.”

Alexander first became involved with the program as a groundskeeper when his son, Terry, became an assistant coach under Tom Bradley. In his spare time, he would do the little things at the ball park to make the field up to date and was heavily involved in the installation of the outfield wall, backstop, grandstands, dugouts, baseball offices and locker room.

“I have known Curtis and Connie for several years and you can not mention JU Baseball without attaching their names to it,” said longtime JU benefactor John Sessions. “I can not think of a better way for us to show our appreciation for everything they have done for this program.”

The endowment created in Curtis and Connie’s honor will help raise additional funds for the baseball program they care so much about and have poured their heart and soul into for so many years. A regular fixture at every home game, the couple has become the adopted family of players (young and old), parents (current and former) and the athletics department (for several decades).

“The alumni game was terrific and the tribute given to my dad brought tears to my eyes," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "Everyone kept it a secret and I had no idea what was happening until they pulled all of us out during the first inning. When they named the clubhouse after my dad, I cried like a baby. I know he was surprised and genuinely grateful."

To get more information or make a donation to the Curtis and Connie Alexander Baseball Scholarship, please contact Kelli Skodinski at (904) 256-7680.

NEW DOLPHINS RALLY IN ALUMNI GAME: In the alumni game, the current Dolphins got off to a slow start but eventually came out the winner in a 12-4 contest at Sessions Stadium.

The Alumni got a leadoff home run by Pete Clifford (2004-07) to start the game but the Dolphins evened things up in the bottom of the inning with an RBI single by senior catcher Jeremy Gillan.

The Alumni increased the margin to 4-2 in the top of the fourth after a two-run double to left center by Chad Hauseman (1999-03) and an RBI single up the middle by Bob Slover (1981-84). The former Dolphins also got great outings by Joel Shapiro (1986-89) and Z.B. Hamilton (1988-89) to hold onto the early lead.

From then on, the Dolphins kicked things into gear by scoring 10 unanswered runs including seven runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Among the leaders for the Dolphins were junior Chuck Opachich (two hits), redshirt-freshman Kevin Lehan (two-run double, RBI single), sophomore Jamaal Hawkins (sac bunt, RBI double) and junior Esterlin Perozo (RBI double). On the mound, sophomores Matt Loosen and Steve Eagerton led the way for JU.