SATURDAY, APRIL 11, 2009
Baseball holds off ETSU, 4-3, in series finale
After an offensive start to the series, the Dolphins got six shutout innings by sophomore Sean Green and sophomore Matt Tomshaw notched his first save to lead the JU baseball team ETSU, 4-3, Saturday afternoon in the series finale at Cardinal Park.
JU (23-10, 12-6) earned its second sweep of the season (USC Upstate) while winning at Cardinal Park for the sixth straight game.
ETSU (14-18, 6-12) rallied for a run in the ninth to make it 4-3 and had runners on first and second with two outs but a comebacker off the bat of Troy Mendez was snagged by Tomshaw to end the game.
“This is the result we wanted when we came up here and we were able to accomplish it,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “Sean did an excellent job of keeping their bats quiet. Carson Andrew and Matt Tomshaw were able to make up for not having Chris Kaminski available. We are finding ways to win ballgames and that’s all you can ask for right now.”
Green (1-0) earned his first win in three starts after not allowing a run while scattering two hits, walking three and striking out five in six innings. Junior Carson Andrew pitched 2.1 effective innings and Tomshaw notched his first save by getting the final two outs.
Darren Caldwell (4-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing one run on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts in seven innings.
Junior second baseman Chuck Opachich led the Dolphin offense and extended his career-best hitting streak to 24 games by going 2-for-4 with an RBI. Sophomore shortstop Jamaal Hawkins also drove in a run with a double.
Jacob Fabry led the Bucs by going 2-for-2 with a home run while Danny Petro went 2-for-3 with two doubles.
JU took a 1-0 lead in the third when Opachich hit an RBI single. With one out sophomore third baseman Glen Johnson laced a double to left center. Opachich followed with a line single up the middle to put JU on the board.
The Bucs threatened in the fifth with a runner on third and one out but Green got Garrett May to pop to first and Chris Rankhorn to strike out swinging to end the inning.
The Dolphins increased the lead to 3-0 in the eighth when two runs scored on a fielding error by Bucs first baseman Paul Hoilman. With one out, senior left fielder Kyle Fleming singled to short. With two outs, Opachich pulled a single through the left side. In the next at-bat, senior catcher Brad Simmons hit a hard grounder towards first but the ball ran up Hoilman’s arm, allowing both runners to score.
ETSU cut the deficit to 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth when Fabry hit a pinch-hit solo homer to right field and Ben Allen hit an RBI single to center. The Bucs still threatened with runners on first and second with two outs but Andrew got Derek Trent to fly out to deep left to end the inning.
The Dolphins will return to its non-conference schedule at Georgia Southern on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The contest can be followed through GameTracker and Eagle Radio Network by logging onto JUDolphins.com.