SUNDAY, MARCH 15, 2009
Baseball pounds Stetson, 18-8, to take series finale
Junior Glenn Witkowksi
Junior Glenn Witkowksi
Junior Glenn Witkowski pitched five strong innings and the Dolphin offense took things to another level as the JU baseball team defeated Stetson in the series finale, 18-8, Sunday afternoon in Atlantic Sun Conference action at John Sessions Stadium.

In the three-game series, the two teams combined for 71 runs, 100 hits, 20 doubles, seven home runs and 21 errors.

JU (9-7, 3-3) racked up a season-high 18 hits and 18 runs to push its consecutive game streak with 10 hits to seven.

Stetson (6-12, 2-1) were held scoreless in the first inning for the first time in the series but did manage to out hit the Dolphins 19-18.

“This is yet another example of what we are capable of when we come to the park ready to play,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “We have to realize that consistency and going all out will be the main reasons we win ballgames.”

Junior Glenn Witkowski (2-0) earned the win after allowing four runs on nine hits with three walks and a strikeout in five solid innings. Sophomore Matt Loosen did not allow an earned run in two innings of relief while sophomore Chris Kaminski added a perfect ninth.

Lindsey Caughel (2-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing eight runs on nine hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 3.1 innings.

Senior designated hitter Jeremy Gillan led the Dolphin offense by going 4-for-6 with a home run and four RBI. Junior first baseman Alex Martinez went 3-for-5 with three RBI while senior right fielder Thomas Myers went 2-for-4 with a triple, a home run and three RBI. Senior second baseman Chuck Opachich, senior left fielder Kyle Fleming and junior center fielder Esterlin Perozo each added multiple hits while sophomore shortstop Jamaal Hawkins drove in a career-high four runs with a grand slam.

Casey Frawley led the Hatters by going 4-for-5 with a double and three RBI. Alex Hudak went 4-for-6 with two doubles, Sean Emory finished 3-for-6 and Jeremy Cruz hit a home run and tallied four RBI.

JU jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first when Gillan hit a two-run homer and Martinez hit an RBI single with two outs. With one out, Fleming laced a single to left center before Gillan hit a 0-1 pitch over the left center wall for his third homer of the season. In the next at-bat, Myers hit a high fly off the left-center wall for a triple before Martinez pulled a ball through the left side.

The Hatters cut the deficit to 3-2 in the third when Frawley hit a two-run double to left center.

Stetson took a 4-3 lead in the fourth when Emory hit an RBI single up the middle and Frawley pulled an RBI single through the left side with two outs.

The Dolphins broke things open in the fourth when they scored eight runs on eight hits to take an 11-4 lead.

Senior catcher Brad Simmons led things off with a walk and then advanced to second on a single to left by Martinez. After an infield single to third by Perozo loaded things up, Hawkins hit a 1-2 pitch over the left field wall for his first career home run.

Opachich continued the onslaught with a single back up the middle and then advanced to third on consecutive singles by Fleming and Gillan to load up the bases for the second time. With two outs, Simmons drew a walk to drive in Opachich and Martinez followed with a base hit up the middle to score two more run. Perozo ended the scoring with a single back up the middle to plate Simmons.

JU increased the margin to 14-4 in the fifth when the Dolphins took advantage of three consecutive fielding errors by the Hatters to score three runs on three bases loaded walks to Myers, Simmons and Perozo.

Stetson picked up a run in the sixth to make it 14-5 when Cruz hit a sacrifice fly to center.

The Dolphins increased the margin to 16-5 in the bottom of the sixth when Gillan drove in two runs with a single to left.

The Hatters put up three runs in the eighth to make 16-8 when Cruz hit a three-run homer off the hill in left field.

JU made it 18-8 in the bottom of the eighth when Myers hit a two-run homer to left field.

JU will begin a four-game road trip at Bethune-Cookman on Wednesday at 6:30 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.