SATURDAY, MARCH 28, 2009
Baseball handles USC Upstate, 14-1, in game one
Sophomore Chris Connelly
Sophomore Chris Connelly
The Dolphins scored in six of seven innings and sophomore Matt Tomshaw won his third straight decision to lead the JU baseball team to a 14-1 win over USC Upstate, Saturday in game one of a doubleheader at John Sessions Stadium.

The contest was shortened to seven innings due to a 10-run “Mercy Rule” when playing the first game of a conference doubleheader.

JU (16-8, 7-4) have now won 12 of its last 15 games, including eight of its last nine, by tallying a season-high 19 hits.

USCU (7-16, 2-9), which has lost five consecutive games, finished with only six hits in the contest.

“My job is a lot easier when we have games like these,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “This was even a better result in the fact that we shortened the first game and saved our pitching heading into the second game.”

Sophomore Matt Tomshaw (3-0) earned the complete-game victory after allowing one run (none earned) on six hits with a walk and a strikeout in seven innings.

Phillip Myers (1-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing nine runs on 10 hits with three walks and five strikeouts in 3.1 innings.

Sophomore left fielder Chris Connelly led the Dolphin offense by going 3-for-4 with a double and a career-best four RBI. Freshman designated hitter Kevin Lehane went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI, senior right fielder Thomas Myers finished 3-for-4 with a double and sophomore shortstop Jamaal Hawkins went 3-for-3 with two doubles. Junior second baseman Chuck Opachich extended his career-best hitting streak to 15 games after going 2-for-4 with a double.

Jacob Breen led the Spartans by going 2-for-3 at the plate.

The Spartans had runners on second and third with two outs in the second but Hawkins made a diving stop up the middle and gunned down Tyler Cook, to end the inning.

The Dolphins took a 1-0 lead in the second when Connelly hit an RBI single. Junior first baseman Alex Martinez drew a walk to lead off the inning before moving to second on a single to left by Lehane. Connelly followed with a drive through the left side to drive in a run.

JU made it 4-0 in the third when Gillan hit a two-run homer and Lehane hit an RBI single. Hawkins led off the inning with a double to left center before Gillan crushed a ball over the left-center wall for this fourth home run of the season. Myers followed with a double to center and then came to the plate when Lehane hit a pitch back up the middle.

The Spartans got on the board with a run in the fourth when Phillip Morgan scored from third on a ground out to short by Keith Bisgounis.

The Dolphins increased the margin to 9-1 in the bottom of the fourth when Gillan hit an RBI single, Martinez drew an RBI walk and Connelly hit a three-run double.

With one out, Opachich hit a single up the middle and then advanced to second when Hawkins drew a walk. In the next at-bat, Gillan pulled a ball through the left side to score Opachich and Myers hit a single to center to load the bases. Martinez drew a walk to plate Hawkins before Connelly cleared the bases with a drive into right center.

JU made it 11-1 in the fifth when Hawkins hit a sacrifice fly to right and Myers hit an RBI single to left. Freshman center fielder Joey Belviso led off the inning with a single to left and then advanced to third on a double down the third-base line by Opachich. Hawkins hit a drive to right to score Belviso before Gillan drew a walk to put runners on the corners. In the next at-bat, Myers laced a single to left to score Opachich.

The Dolphins added three more runs in the sixth when Lehane hit a solo home run to left, Belviso hit an RBI single to right center and a run scored on a double-play.

JU and USCU will conclude its series with game two of a doubleheader 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one. The game can be seen live on ASun.TV by logging onto JUDolphins.com and is also available on GameTracker.