SUNDAY, MARCH 01, 2009
Baseball rally falls short in 10-9 loss to Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Sophomore Alex Swenson
Sophomore Alex Swenson
The Dolphins erased a five-run deficit and had runners on base in their final at-bat but the JU baseball team fell short in a 10-9 loss to Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Sunday afternoon in the final game of the JU Invitational at John Sessions Stadium.

The contest was shortened to seven innings due to travel plans by the Panthers after rains delayed the original game time.

JU (3-4) tallied 10 hits for the second consecutive game and hit four home runs for the first time since April, 29, 2006 against Florida Atlantic.

UWM (3-4) won its third consecutive game after pounding out 10 runs on 10 hits to total 38 runs for the weekend.

Trailing 8-3 in the fourth, JU answered with three runs in the fifth and two in the sixth to tie the game. The Panthers answered right back with two runs in the top of the seventh to take a 10-8 lead. JU rallied for a run in the bottom of the seventh but left runners on first and second to end the game.

“We made some mistakes early in the game and it put us into a hole we couldn’t climb out of,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “We started to put some runs up late but we waited too long to get into the game. There isn’t much time to think about things with another big week coming up for us.”

Sophomore Matt Tomshaw (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing a run on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 2.2 innings of relief. Junior Glen Witkowski (0-1) got the no-decision after allowing eight runs (four earned) on five hits with four walks and two strikeouts in 3.2 innings.

Cameron Amsrud (2-0) was credited with the win after hurling an inning of shutout relief. Craig Meier notched his second save of the weekend after getting out of a jam in the ninth.

Senior designated hitter Jeremy Gillan led the Dolphin offense by going 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI. Sophomore catcher Alex Swenson finished 2-for-3 with a home run while senior right fielder Thomas Myers and freshman first baseman Kevin Lehane each finished with multiple hits, including home runs.

Cole Kraft led the Panthers by finishing 2-for-5 at the plate with two RBI.

JU took a 2-0 lead in the first when Gillan hit a two-run homer to left. With one out, junior right fielder Esterlin Perozo drew a walk before Gillan cleared the bases with his second home run of the season.

The Panthers jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the second after scoring four runs on one hit while taking advantage of two Dolphin fielding errors.

The Dolphins cut the deficit to 4-3 in the bottom of the second when hit a solo shot to left-center field. For Swenson, it was the first home run of his collegiate career.

UWM increased the margin to 8-3 in the fourth when Doug Dekoning hit an RBI double, Kraft hit an RBI single and Tim Patzman and Shawn Wozniak each drove in a run with a walk.

JU cut the deficit to 8-6 in the fifth when Lehane hit a two-run homer and Myers hit a solo home run. Gillan led off the inning with a single to center before Lehane hit a shot over the left-field wall for his second homer of the season. With one out, Myers hit a towering shot into the trees in left-center.

The Dolphins evened the score, 8-8, in the sixth when senior pinch-hitter Dan Maier and Gillan each hit an RBI single. Freshman leftfielder Jonathan Murphy led off the inning by reaching on a fielding error by Wes Munson at third. After junior second baseman Chuck Opachich drew a walk, Maier entered the game and dropped a single into right to score Murphy. Gillan followed with a single back up the middle to tie the game.

The Panthers retook the lead, 10-8, in the top of the seventh when Shaun Wedner led off the inning with a solo shot to left-center and Kraft scored from third on a balk.

JU will return to action on Tuesday as the Dolphins host No. 5 Florida State at 6 p.m. at John Sessions Stadium . All JU contests can be followed live on ASun.TV through JUDolphins.com.