SATURDAY, APRIL 11, 2009
Baseball scores nine unanswered to pull out 12-10 win over ETSU in continuation game
Sophomore Chris Connelly
Sophomore Chris Connelly
Trailing 10-3 in the fourth, the Dolphins scored nine unanswered runs to rally once again as the JU baseball team defeated ETSU, 12-10, Saturday afternoon in a continuation of game two at Cardinal Park.

JU (22-10, 11-6) pounded out a game-high 16 hits and scored runs in six of nine innings to take the series.

ETSU (14-17, 6-11) scored 10 runs in the first four innings but were held scoreless through the next five en route to leaving a game-high 13 runners on base.

“This was a tremendous win for us,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “To pick things up the next day and come back from a large deficit to win the series is a good feeling. Now we need to try and come out of here with a sweep to make our trip a little better heading home.”

With the score tied in the ninth, JU took a 12-10 lead when sophomore left fielder Chris Connelly hit a solo homer (his second of the game) and sophomore shortstop Jamaal Hawkins hit an RBI double down the third-base line.

Sophomore Chris Kaminski (3-0) got the win after hurling 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. Sophomore Matt Tomshaw got the no-decision after allowing two runs on four hits with a strikeout in one inning on Friday. Junior Kyle Kriech allowed only one run on three hits while walking three and five strikeouts in 3.1 innings of relief.

Dustin Plumlee (3-5) was tagged with the loss after allowing two runs on three hits while walking one in one inning of relief. Josh Gonzaga also got the no-decision after allowing seven runs on nine hits with four walks and a strikeout in five innings.

Hawkins led the squad by going 4-for-6 with a double and two RBI. Connelly went 2-for-5 with two home runs and four RBI. Sophomore third baseman Glen Johnson also finished with multiple hits for JU. Junior second baseman Chuck Opachich extended his career-best hitting streak to 23 games after going 4-for-4.

Troy Mendez led the Bucs by going 3-for-5 with a double, a triple and three RBI. Bo Reeder also finished 3-for-6 with two doubles and an RBI. Ben Allen, Danny Petro and Chris Rankhorn also finished with multiple hits for ETSU.

The Bucs took a 2-0 lead in the first when Mendez hit an RBI triple to center and Paul Hoilman drove in a run with a bloop single to right.

JU cut the deficit to 2-1 in the second when Johnson hit an RBI single. With one out, freshman first baseman Kevin Lehane drew a walk and then advanced to second on when freshman centerfielder Jonathan Murphy drew a walk. In the next at-bat, Johnson hit a ball back up the middle to score Lehane.

ETSU increased the lead to 5-1 in the bottom of the second when Reeder hit an RBI double and Mendez followed with a two-run double.

The Dolphins cut the deficit to 5-3 in the third when senior right fielder Thomas Myers hit a two-run homer. Hawkins led off the inning with a single through the right side. With one out, Myers crushed a curve ball over the left-field wall for his seventh homer of the season.

The Bucs made it 6-3 in the bottom of the third when Petro led off the inning with a solo homer down the left-field line.

ETSU increased the margin to 10-3 in the fourth when Petro hit a two-run double, Rankhorn hit an RBI double and Garret May drove in a run with a grounder to third after taking advantage of three Dolphin errors.

JU cut the deficit to 10-7 in the fifth when senior catcher Jeremy Gillan hit a solo home run and Connelly hit a three-run homer. Gillan led off the inning with a deep drive over the left-center wall for his fifth round tripper of the year. With one out, junior first baseman Alex Martinez drew a walk and Lehane hit a single to center. In the next at-bat, Connelly crushed a pitch over the left-field wall for his third homer this season.

The Dolphins made it 10-9 in the sixth when Opachich scored on a throwing error to second by Petro and Myers drove in a run with a grounder to first. Opachich led off the inning with a single through the left side and then advanced to third on a single to right by Hawkins. As Hawkins stole second, Petro’s throw rolled into center field to allow Opachich to score. Hawkins moved to third on a failed pick off attempt by Breeder as his throw to second was not covered by an infielder as it went into center. With one out, Myers hit a grounder to first to score Hawkins.

JU evened the score, 10-10, in the seventh when Hawkins hit an RBI single with two outs. Connelly reached on a fielding error by May at short to lead off the inning. With two outs, Opachich was hit by a pitch to move Connelly to second. In the next at-bat, Hawkins pulled a ball through the left side to tie the game.

The Bucs threatened in the seventh with runners on first and second with two outs but Kaminski entered the contest and got Allen to ground out to third to end the inning.

ETSU threatened again in the eighth with runners on first and second with one out but Kaminski got May to pop to third and Cory Betterson to ground out to second to end the inning.

The series finale will begin 30 minutes after the continuation game. The contest can be followed through GameTracker and ETSU Radio Network by logging onto JUDolphins.com.