FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2009
Baseball falls to Stetson, 9-6
Junior Alex Martinez
Junior Alex Martinez
Despite trailing by six runs, the Dolphins mounted a comeback and were a foot short of taking the lead in the seventh but the JU baseball team eventually fell to Stetson, 9-6, Friday night in Atlantic Sun Conference action at John Sessions Stadium.

JU (8-6, 2-2) finished with at least 10 hits for the fifth consecutive game but could not overcome a deep hole when Stetson (5-11, 1-0) put up four runs in the fourth with a grand slam by Casey Frawley to make it 7-1.

“We knew coming in that Stetson was going to be a tough opponent,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “They came out and put some runs on the board early, we clawed our way back into it, but we couldn’t get over the hump. Joey Wedner did a great job of keeping us in the ball game but we couldn’t get that big final hit.”

Junior Carson Andrew (2-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing seven runs (three earned) on 10 hits with a walk and three strikeouts in 3.2 innings. Wedner hurled 3.2 innings of scoreless relief before exiting with two runners on base in the eighth, both of which eventually scored to make it 9-5 and put the game out of reach.

Robby Donovan (2-0) earned the win after allowing four runs on eight hits with four strikeouts in 5.1 innings. David Burns tacked on 1.1 scoreless innings to earn his first save.

Junior first baseman Alex Martinez led the Dolphin offense by going 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI. Senior left fielder Kyle Fleming, senior catcher Jeremy Gillan and senior designated hitter Brad Simmons each finished with multiple hits for JU.

Frawley led the Hatters by going 3-for-5 with a home run and five RBI. Jeremy Cruz and Mark Jones also added three hits apiece for Stetson.

The Hatters took a 1-0 lead in the second when Jones hit an RBI single to right center with two outs.

The Dolphins evened the contest, 1-1, in the bottom of the second when freshman Derik Grimes hit an RBI double. With one out, Simmons hit a single up the middle on a 3-2 count. With two outs, Grimes laced a double into the left-center gap on a 3-2 pitch to tie the game.

Stetson took a 3-1 lead in the third when Frawley and Aaron Crittenden each tallied an RBI single.

The Hatters increased the margin to 7-1 in the fourth when Frawley hit a grand slam to right on a 3-2 pitch with two outs.

The Dolphins cut the deficit to 7-2 in the fifth when Grimes hit a sacrifice fly to right. Martinez led the inning off with a double to right center. After advancing to third on a passed ball, Grimes hit a deep fly to plate Martinez.

JU made it 7-4 in the sixth when Martinez hit a two-run single with the bases loaded. With one out, Gillan hit a single to left and then advanced to second when senior right fielder Thomas Myers was hit by a pitch. After Simmons loaded the bases with a single through the right side, Martinez followed with a single to right to cut into the Hatter lead.

The Dolphins cut the margin to 7-5 when Gillan hit an RBI single to left. With one out, junior second baseman Chuck Opachich drew a walk and then advanced to second when Fleming beat out an infield single off Stetson reliever Nick Bohne. Gillan followed with a bounding single to left to score Opachich. With two outs, senior pinch-hitter Dan Maier hit a towering shot to left center but Frank Florio tracked the ball down, fighting the misty sky, to make the catch against the wall and end the inning.

The Hatters increased the lead 9-5 in the eighth when Emory hit a two-run single through the right side.

JU cut the margin to 9-6 in the eighth when Opachich drove in a run with an infield single to second. With two outs, freshman shortstop Jimmy Howick and junior center fielder Esterlin Perozo were each hit by a pitch. In the next at-bat, Opachich hit a ball off the right side of the mound and it was tracked down by Jacob deGrom before it went into the infield. Howick seized the opportunity to continue home as deGrom’s throw was a shade late to the plate.

JU will continue its homestand at Johns Sessions Stadium against Stetson on Saturday at 1 p.m. The contest can be heard live on 1010XL with Barry Milligan calling all of the action. The game can also be seen live on ASun.TV.