Baseball downs Florida A&M, 9-4
Sophomore Alex Swenson
Sophomore Alex Swenson
Senior right fielder Thomas Myers went 3-for-4 while freshman Clay Kollenbaum notched his first collegiate win to lead the JU baseball team to a 9-4 victory over Florida A&M, Wednesday night in non-conference action at John Sessions Stadium.

With the scored tied at one in the third inning, the Dolphins (8-5) scored six runs on six hits in the third inning to pull ahead in the game and never trailed the rest of the way.

The Rattlers (4-7) plated two runs in the sixth inning to cut the deficit to 7-4, but couldn’t get any closer in the game.

“We are on a little bit of a roll right now and that’s what we need heading into a tough series with Stetson,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “We had a lot of guys take advantage of opportunities tonight and that will help us in the long run as we go through the season.”

Kollenbaum (1-0) earned the win for JU after allowing just two runs on six hits and fanning five batters in five innings.

Freshman Baker Chapman surrendered two runs (one earned) in one inning, while sophomore Brian Gilroy allowed no runs and struck out two batters in an inning of his own. Sophomore Sean Green made hit way to the mound for the first time in 2009 and allowed only one hit in two innings of work to end the game.

Rattlers’ starter David Duncan (2-3) took the loss, giving up eight runs on 10 hits in five innings. Anthony Espin retired his first seven batters before allowing a run in the eighth inning.

Along with Myers, senior left fielder Kyle Fleming recorded two hits and two runs scored while sophomore catcher Alex Swenson and junior first baseman Alex Martinez each recorded two RBI.

The Rattlers were led offensively by Tim Jones, who finished the game going 2-for-4 with a triple, a home run and two RBI.

Junior center fielder Chuck Opachich led off the JU first inning with a single to right field and then moved to second on a groundout by Fleming in the next at-bat. Myers followed with an infield single to shortstop, which advanced Opachich. After a strikeout to sophomore third baseman Glen Johnson, Opachich scored a on wild pitch to give the Dolphins a 1-0 lead.

Jones opened the second inning with a home run to left field to tie the game for the Rattlers.

In the third inning, the Dolphins got three consecutive singles from Fleming, Myers and Johnson to load the bases. Martinez followed by plating Fleming and Myers on a single to left field to give the Dolphins a 3-1 lead. After a wild pitch and an international walk to senior designated hitter Dan Maier, Swenson drove in two more runs with a double down the left field line. Maier later scored on a wild pitch, while junior shortstop Derek Abis plated Swenson on a groundout to make it 6-1 for JU.

The Dolphins took a 7-1 lead in the fourth inning with an RBI single from Myers to score Fleming.

Timo Schalch, Adam Gordon and John Scott each tallied an infield hit to start fifth inning and Schalch would score on a ground out by Evans. Kollenbaum followed with a walk to Daniel Lee to load the bases again but Swenson picked off Lee at first base and Johnson made an aerobic play up the line to throw out Tobi Adeyemi to end the threat.

In the sixth inning, Jones tripled home Shaw for Florida A&M after he lead off with a single to center field. Jones scored on the next at-bat on a fielder error by Chapman to make it an 8-4 ballgame.

The Dolphins padded the lead with a run-scoring single in the eighth from senior left fielder Brad Simmons to plate sophomore center fielder Chris Connelly.

JU will continue its homestand at Johns Sessions Stadium against Stetson for a three-game Atlantic Sun series starting Friday at 6:30 p.m. The contest can be seen live on ASun.TV.