After winning a series over first-place Florida Gulf Coast, the JU baseball team (12-8) will return to non-conference action with a home-and-home series against UCF (7-15) beginning at Jay Bergman Field on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
The series will conclude at John Sessions Stadium on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
JU trails the all-time series against UCF, 26-27, including a split in the home-and-home series last season. Both programs earned a win on their home field during the 2008 campaign.
Tuesday night’s will be broadcast on the Brighthouse Sports Network, but fans can be see it live on CSS. Tom Gordon calling all of the action and Dennis Rasmussen providing color analysis. The contest will be shown live on CSS. The contest can also be followed live on UCF Radio Network or through GameTracker.
Wednesday night’s game can be heard live on 1010XL with Barry Milligan calling the game. Fans can also watch the contest live on ASun.TV through JUDolphins.com.
Against FGCU, JU had its streak with at least 10 hits snapped at eight games but earned their first victory over the Eagles by finishing with a game-high eight hits in game one...sophomore Matt Loosen (1-0) got the win after allowing two runs on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in a career-high 7.1 innings...sophomore Chris Kaminski struck out two in 1.2 innings to notch his fourth save of the year...junior center fielder Esterlin Perozo led the Dolphin offense by going 2-for-4 with two runs and a home run...junior second baseman Chuck Opachich also finished with multiple hits while senior left fielder Kyle Fleming led the squad with two RBI...in game two, sophomore Matt Tomshaw (2-0) won his second consecutive start this season after allowing only one unearned run on eight hits while walking only one batter and striking out seven in 6.1 innings...senior Joey Wedner allowed only one run in 1.2 innings of solid relief and sophomore Sean Green hurled a scoreless ninth to end it...senior right fielder Thomas Myers led the Dolphin offense by going 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI...senior catcher Jeremy Gillan also finished 2-for-3 with two RBI...in game three, junior Glenn Witkowski (2-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing five runs on nine hits with a walk and five strikeouts in five innings...junior Kyle Kriech added three perfect relief innings...Gillan led the Dolphin offense by going 2-for-4 with two RBI...Myers, senior designated hitter Brad Simmons and sophomore shortstop Jamaal Hawkins each finished with multiple hits...Opachich also finished with two hits to extend his season-high hitting streak to 11 games.
What a difference a weekend makes
After its series against Stetson on March 13-15, the Dolphin starting rotation did their part to help infuse the name “A-Run Conference” but this past weekend against FGCU was a different story.
Against Stetson, JU’s starting rotation went 1-2 with a 13.00 ERA while allowing 23 hits, 13 earned runs with seven walks and only four strikeouts in nine innings.
Against FGCU, the staff bounced back by going 2-1 with a 3.46 ERA while allowing 22 hits, seven earned runs with four walks and 13 strikeouts in 18.2 innings.
Hold on Loosen
Sophomore Matt Loosen has been "Mr. Fix It" out of the bullpen through 17 games for JU in 2009.
In six appearances out of the pen, Loosen tallied two saves while posting a 2.35 ERA, a staff-high 22 strikeouts and a bullpen-best 15.1 innings of work.
Among his most influential outings was striking out four in the final two innings in a win over No. 6 Florida State. Loosen also helped turn the tide in the SunTrust River City Rumble series by tallying the save in a 4-3 win over UNF in game two.
Due to injuries, Loosen was pressed into service in the starting rotation and now he might not be leaving for a while.
In his first start in 2009, Loosen did not allow a run through seven innings and left the contest with runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning. Although the bullpen allowed two runs to score, Loosen dominated first-place FGCU by scattering five hits with a career-high seven strikeouts in a career-best 7.1 innings as JU took game one by a score of 3-2.
He currently leads the staff with 29 strikeouts and 22.2 innings.
Senior catcher Jeremy Gillan came out swinging last season after transferring from from Indian River CC and is picking up where he left off in 2009.
Last season, he led the Dolphins in hits (83), doubles (10), home runs (9), RBI (60), total bases (120), slugging percentage (.545), sacrifice flies (6), multi-hit games (27), multi-RBI games (16) and fielding percentage (.987) en route to second team all-conference honors.
A preseason all-conference selection this year, Gillan leads the squad with a .438 batting average, a .519 on-base percentage, 11 walks and is tied for the team lead with 28 hits. He is second in runs (16), home runs (3), RBI (19) and slugging percentage (.672).
Rocky mountain high
Senior right fielder Thomas Myers is swinging a hot bat and it could prove to be trouble for opposing pitchers.
Despite JU going 2-2 during the second-annual JU Invitational, the Lakewood, Colo. native led the squad by going 7-for-12 with three doubles, two home runs, five RBI, 16 total bases, a .667 on-base percentage and a 1.333 slugging percentage.
In a 6-4 win over Akron, he finished 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. In a doubleheader vs. #25 Michigan, Myers combined to go 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI. In the finale against Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he did his part again by going 2-for-3 with a double and a home run.
He followed that weekend by batting 6-for-10 (.600) with a double, a home run and four RBI while slugging 1.000 and finishing with a .583 on-base percentage in a 2-1 series win over cross-town rival UNF.
Myers continued to produce big-time hits at the right time by going 2-for-4 with a home run while tying a career high with four RBI in a 7-2 win over conference leading FGCU in game two.
Myers currently leads the squad in doubles (7), home runs (5), RBI (22) and slugging percentage (.714).