FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2009
Baseball drops 3-2 heartbreaker to Campbell
Sophomore Matt Loosen
Sophomore Matt Loosen
In unorthodox fashion, the Dolphins played perfect in the field but left a game-high 13 runners on base and blew their first lead after eight innings as the JU baseball team fell to Campbell, 3-2, Friday evening in game one of an A-Sun series at John Sessions Stadium.

JU (23-12, 12-7), which 19-0 this season when taking a lead into the ninth, dropped its second straight game this week when holding a lead. The Dolphins had its first errorless effort in the field since a loss at Florida Gulf Coast on March 22.

CU (19-15, 5-10), which entered the game 0-10 when trailing after eight innings, rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth with an RBI double by Alex Aycoth who later scored from third on a wild pitch.

“This kind of game leaves a bad taste in your mouth,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “We have been winning games like these but when you leave 13 runners on base, you are playing with fire. Right now, we can’t dwell on this loss because we have to focus on coming back strong tomorrow.”

Sophomore Chris Kaminski (3-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing two runs on two hits with a strikeout in one inning of relief. Sophomore Matt Loosen earned the no-decision despite allowing only one run on six hits with two walks and a career-high tying 10 strikeouts in a career-best eight innings of work.

Daniel Gardo (1-2) got the win after hurling three shutout innings of relief. Ryan Hamme notched his second save of the year by adding a scoreless ninth. Jeff Rydman also got the no-decision after allowing only two runs on six hits with five walks and five strikeouts in five innings.

Junior second baseman Chuck Opachich led the Dolphin offense and extended his career-best hitting streak to 26 games by finishing 3-for-5 with a double. Sophomore shortstop Jamaal Hawkins went 2-for-5 with an RBI.

Aycoth led the Camels by going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

JU took a 1-0 lead in the first when senior right fielder Thomas Myers drew a bases loaded walk with no outs. Opachich led off the inning with a single to second and then advanced to third on a single through the right side by Hawkins. After senior catcher Jeremy Gillan was intentionally walked to load the bases, Myers drew a walk to drive in the first run.

The Camels evened the contest in the second when Grahan Fronk hit an RBI single back up the middle with two outs.

Campbell threatened in the third with a runner on first and third with two outs but Gillan baited Chris Bange at third by throwing to Hawkins at second. Bange broke for home and was gunned down on the relay back to the plate.

The Camels threatened again in the sixth with a runner on second with two outs but Loosen got Zach Johnson to fly out to left to end the inning.

JU took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth when Hawkins hit an RBI single with two outs. Freshman outfielder Jonathan Murphy led off the inning with a double down the right-field line and then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore third baseman Glen Johnson. With two outs, Hawkins hit a ball back up the middle to give the Dolphins the lead.

Campbell started the rally in the ninth with one out when Johnson hit a double to left-center field. Aycoth followed with a double down the right-field line to tie the contest before scoring the eventual game-winner on a wild pitch with two outs.

The Dolphins and Camels will conclude their series on Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. at John Session Stadium. Both games can be seen live, while game one can be heard live on 1010XL with Barry Milligan calling all of the action, through ASun.TV on