After having its seven-game winning streak snapped, the JU baseball team (19-10) will return to the non-conference portion of its schedule with a single game against USF (19-10) on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at John Sessions Stadium.
Wednesday’s contest, orginally scheduled for 6:30 p.m., has been postponed to a later date due to travel conflicts for the Bulls.
JU and USF are even in the all-time series, 49-49, after the Bulls swept the season series (3-0) in 2007.
The game can be seen live on ASun.TV by logging onto JUDolphins.com. The contest will also be available on 1010XL with Barry Milligan calling all of the action.
Against Belmont, the Dolphins had their season-high seven game winning streak snapped and were swept in a doubleheader for the first time this season...senior catcher/DH Jeremy Gillan batted .545 (6-11) for the weekend...junior first baseman Alex Martinez tallied a home run in each game...junior second baseman Chuck Opachich extended his career-best hitting streak to 20 games...game three: junior Carson Andrew (2-3) was tagged with the loss after allowing eight runs (six earned) on seven hits with a strikeout in 1.1 innings...sophomore Sean Green hurled two innings of perfect relief...freshman Clay Kollenbaum added one inning of perfect relief...senior left fielder Kyle Fleming led the Dolphins by going 3-for-5 with two RBI...Gillan went 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI...freshman center fielder Jonathan Murphy, sophomore third baseman Glen Johnson, Martinez and Opachich also finished with multiple hits...game two: 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...Gillan led the Dolphin offense by going 3-for-4 with three RBI... Murphy finished 2-for-5 while Opachich went 2-for-5...game one: sophomore Chris Kaminski (2-0) got the win after hurling 1.2 innings of scoreless relief...sophomore Matt Loosen got the no-decision despite allowing only one unearned run on two hits while walking two and striking out a career-high eight in 7.1 innings...Opachich led the Dolphins by going 2-for-4 with a home run.
JU is receiving votes in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers (NCBW) Top 30 Poll as of March 31...the Dolphins are 80th in RPI rankings (.544), 93rd in IRS rankings (107.2) and 140th in strength of schedule, according to Boyds World...JU leads the Atlantic Sun Conference with an 19-10 (.655) overall record...the Dolphins are second in team ERA (.5.36) and third in team batting average (.313) in the conference rankings.
Chuck is O-fensive
Junior Chuck Opachich has become a versatile part of the Dolphin lineup with his ability to play second base and center field.
What is also helping JU, offensively, is his bat and speed on the bases.
Despite not starting in the first two games of the season, Opachich has sparked a JU resurgence over the month of March by ranking second on the squad with a .381 batting average and eight steals.
As the squad’s leadoff hitter, he is also tied for the team lead with 45 hits and two triples while ranking third with a .451 on-base percentage and 55 total bases.
Opachich is currently in the midst of a career-best 20 game hitting streak in which he is battling .422 (38-90) since March 7.
Hold on Loosen
Sophomore Matt Loosen had 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 a 44 strikeouts and 37.0 innings. In the A-Sun rankings, he is second with a 2.19 ERA and a .203 opposing batting average.
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 .455 batting average, 45 hits, 34 RBI, a .540 on-base percentage, a .697 slugging percentage and 20 walks.
Defensively, he has been just as stellar by not committing an error while gunning down 9-of-17 (.529) base runners on the year.
In his last 10 games, Gillan has been white hot by leading the squad with a .475 batting average (19-40) with four doubles, a triple, a home run, 17 RBI, a .700 slugging percentage and a .560 on-base percentage.
In the conference rankings, Gillan leads the A-Sun in batting average (.455) and on-base percentage (.540) and is fifth in slugging percentage (.697) and RBI (34).
“Wild Thing” is back
JU has been in desperate need of a closer since Hunter Davis tallied 11 in 2005 and now the Dolphins have found one in sophomore Chris Kaminski.
The Richmond, Texas native joined the Dolphins after going 6-0 with a 3.86 ERA, four saves and 54 strikeouts as a freshman at Weatherford Junior College.
Thus far for the JU green & gold, Kaminski has lived up to the hype by leading the A-Sun with six saves in six opportunities while toping the bullpen with a 2.55 ERA. He has posted a 2-0 record and 17.2 innings of work in 15 appearances.
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 (10) and and 31 runs while ranking second with five home runs, a .618 slugging percentage, a .481 on-base percentage and 19 walks.