Baseball rallies but falls to Belmont, 12-7, in game one
Junior Chuck Opachich
Junior Chuck Opachich
Despite pulling out its eight inning magic once again, the Dolphins could not hold off a rally in the bottom of the eighth as the JU baseball team fell to Belmont, 12-7, Saturday afternoon in game one of a doubleheader at Shelby Field.

JU (19-9, 9-5) erased a 7-2 deficit in the eight by plating five runs but ended the contest by leaving a game-high 12 runners on base.

Belmont (16-13, 9-5) answered the Dolphins’ big inning with its second five-run inning of the contest, plating five runs on five hits while taking advantage of a JU error.

“This was one of those roller coaster games but we just couldn’t end it with us on the peak,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “We showed tremendous drive to rally once again but we just couldn’t find a way to close it out.”

Senior Joey Wedner (4-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing two runs on three hits with a strikeout in three innings of relief. Sophomore Matt Tomshaw got the no-decision after allowing six runs (five earned) on nine hits with three walks and two strikeouts in four innings.

Jimmy Stanley (1-3) was credited with the win despite allowing five runs on four hits with two walks and a strikeout in two innings of relief. Brian Kelley also got the no-decision after allowing two runs on seven hits while walking seven and striking out eight in seven innings of work.

Senior catcher Jeremy Gillan led the Dolphin offense by going 3-for-4 with three RBI. Freshman centerfielder Jonathan Murphy finished 2-for-5 while junior second baseman Chuck Opachich went 2-for-5 to extend his career-best hitting streak to 19 games.

Dylan Craig led the Bruins by going 3-for-5 while six others finished with multiple hits.

JU took a 1-0 lead in the first when Gillan hit an RBI single through the left side. Opachich led off the game with a single to center and then stole second base. With one out, Gillan pulled a pitch with Opachich in motion to plate the game’s first run.

The Bruins evened the contest in the bottom of the first when Derek Wiley hit a sacrifice fly to left.

The Dolphins took a 2-1 lead in the second when Connelly hit a solo shot to left center to lead off the inning. For Connelly, it was the first home run of his collegiate career.

Belmont threatened in the third with runners on first and third with one out but Tomshaw got Brandon McCall to strike out. With the bases loaded an two out, Tomshaw got out of the inning unscathed when Opachich flipped to sophomore shortstop Jamaal Hawkins at second for the force play off the bat of Daniel Wagner.

The Bruins threatened again in the fourth with a runner on third with one out but Tomshaw struck out Packy Elkins looking with the infield drawn in and got Dylan Craig to line out to center to end the inning.

Belmont finally broke through in the fifth when they put up five runs on five hits, including a two-run double by Wagner with the bases loaded.

The Dolphins pulled out the eighth inning magic once again by plating five runs on four hits. With one out, Murphy hit a single to right center before moving to third on consecutive walks to Opachich and Hawkins to load the bases. In the next at-bat, Gillan hit a single to left to score Murphy and Opachich. After Myers hit a deep fly out to left, Martinez hit a 1-0 pitch over the left-field wall to tie the contest.