MONDAY, MAY 11, 2009
Baseball pummels Mercer, 23-5, to take series
Senior right fielder Thomas Myers went 3-for-3 with two home runs and four RBI to lead a historic offensive onslaught as the JU baseball team took the series over Mercer with a 23-5 win, Monday afternoon at Claude Smith Field.
JU (33-17, 19-11), which secured the No. 1 seed in the A-Sun Tournament, tallied season highs with 23 runs and 26 hits, including four doubles and five home runs.
It was the most hits tallied by the Dolphins since recording 21 against Florida A&M on Feb. 5, 2002. It was also the most runs put up by a JU squad since scoring 23 against Florida A&M on Feb. 4, 2000. JU also tallied five home runs for the second consecutive game.
MU (20-22, 9-15), which holds a magic number of one to secure a spot in the postseason, finished with a game-high four errors and allowed the most runs since a 28 run output by Auburn on May 28, 1951.
“This is one of greatest offensive games I’ve seen,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “To have a game like we did in the series opener and bounce back the way we have in the last two is amazing. I’m excited to see us play again with the way we are swinging the bats right now and we are going to need it with Florida and Dallas Baptist coming up.”
Junior Carson Andrew (5-3) notched his team-leading fifth win after allowing one run on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts in five innings.
Justice French (1-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing seven runs (five earned) on seven hits with a walk in 1.1 innings.
Along with Myers, junior second baseman Chuck Opachich went 3-for-4 with two RBI, senior designated hitter Dan Maier batted 3-for-6 with two doubles and an RBI, sophomore shortstop Jamaal Hawkins finished 3-for-6 with an RBI and sophomore catcher Alex Swenson went 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Freshman center fielder Joey Belviso also enjoyed a career day by going 2-for-3 with two home runs and four RBI.
Michael Langley led the Bears by going 2-for-4 with a double.
The Dolphins took a 1-0 lead in the first when senior catcher Jeremy Gillan hit an RBI single. Opachich led off the game with a single up the middle and then stole second. After advancing to third on a chop single to short by senior left fielder Kyle Fleming, Gillan hit a ball back up the middle to plate Opachich.
JU increased the margin to 7-0 in the second when the Dolphins plated six runs on five hits while taking advantage of three Mercer errors.
Sophomore center fielder Chris Connelly led off the inning with single to center and then moved to second on a ground out to short by Hawkins. Maier followed with an RBI double down the third-base line and moved to third on the play when Jacob Tanis’ throw to first sailed up the right-field line.
After sophomore third baseman Glen Johnson drew a walk, Opachich followed with an RBI single to right center. Fleming drove in another run when hit grounder to short was misplayed by Nick DiMauro. With runners on first and third, Gillan pulled an RBI single through the left side. After Myers beat out a high chopper to third to load the bases, junior first baseman Alex Martinez hit a deep sacrifice fly to left to score another run. Connelly followed with a grounder to short that DiMauro misplayed off his chest, which allowed another run to score.
The Bears made it 7-1 in the second when Tanis led off the inning with a solo homer to left center.
JU increased the margin to 15-1 in the fourth after the Dolphins plated eight runs on six hits including a solo home run and a three-run homer by Myers. For Myers, the two bombs moved him to nine on the year while becoming the first Dolphin to hit two home runs in an inning since Phil Sottile accomplished the feat vs. Akron on March 27, 1984.
The Dolphins made it 19-1 in the sixth when Belviso hit a two-run homer to left and Connelly hit a two-run homer to right center. For Belviso, it was his first collegiate round tripper while Connelly notched his fifth on the season.
JU made it 23-1 in the seventh when Fleming hit an RBI single up the middle, sophomore catcher Alex Swenson hit an RBI double off the wall in left and Belviso hit a two-run homer down the left-field line, his second of the game.
Mercer made it 23-2 in the bottom of the seventh when Travis Peyatt hit a solo home run to dead center. The Bears added another run in the eighth when John Moreland hit a solo homer to right center. Mercer would adde two more runs in the ninth when Nick Adams hit a two-run double.
The Dolphins will get right back into their non-conference schedule on Tuesday at 6 p.m. as JU travels to Florida. The game can be heard on 1010XL with Barry Milligan calling all of the action or GameTracker by logging onto JUDolphins.com.