TUESDAY, MAY 19, 2009
Five Dolphins earn A-Sun All-Conference honors
After earning the No.1 seed in the A-Sun Tournament for the first time since 2006, the JU baseball team received the same amount of all-conference selections as five Dolphins earned accolades on Tuesday.
Senior catcher Jeremy Gillan and junior second baseman Chuck Opachich were each selected to the first team, sophomore pitchers Matt Loosen and Chris Kaminski each garnered second team honors and outfielder Jonathan Murphy was named to the all-freshman team.
“We are certainly proud of all of our players and especially the ones who have outstanding years,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “Each one of theses players in very deserving of this honor and has been a big part of why we are entering this weekend as the No. 1 seed.”
Gillan, who earned second team honors last season, leads the squad with a .397 batting average, 18 doubles, 11 home runs, 132 total bases, a .487 on-base percentage and a .680 slugging percentage. The 2009 preseason all-conference selection also produced a career-high 18-game hitting streak (4/15-5/12) in which he batted .394 (28-71) with eight doubles, six home runs, 19 RBI, 54 total bases, a .761 slugging percentage and a .482 on-base percentage. In the conference rankings, Gillan leads A-Sun in intentional walks (9) and fielding (1.000), is second in average w/runners on base (.442), third in on-base percentage (.487), average with RBI opportunity (.446) and average vs. LHP (.435), fourth in batting average (.397), fifth in slugging percentage (.680).
Opachich, who was an all-freshman team selection in 2007, sparked JU’s resurgence over the month of March and April by ranking second on the squad with a .382 batting average. He also leads the squad with 84 hits, 49 runs, three triples and 18 stolen bases. In the conference rankings, he is second in average with two outs (.475) and fifth in hits (84), triples (3) and stolen bases (18). Opachich also set a milestone by tying Talmadge Nunnari (1997) with a program record 27-game hitting streak. During the streak from March 7-April 18, Opachich batted .434 (53-122) while the Dolphins went 20-7.
Loosen, who earned all-freshman honors last season, began the season in the bullpen before injuries forced him into the weekend rotation. In six relief appearances, Loosen tallied two saves while posting a 2.35 ERA, a staff-high 22 strikeouts and a bullpen-best 15.1 innings of work. In eight starts, Loosen is 3-1 with a 4.27 ERA while leading the staff with 80 strikeouts, 71.1 innings and a .235 opponent batting average. In the A-Sun rankings, he is second in hits allowed (63), third in runs allowed (36), fourth in average vs. leadoff hitters (.288) and fifth in opponent average (.235) and average vs. righties (.220).
Kaminski has solidified the JU bullpen after transferring from Weatherford Junior College and quickly established himself as one of the top closers in the conference. Thus far for the JU green & gold, Kaminski has lived up to the hype by leading the A-Sun with eight saves in nine opportunities while toping the bullpen with 23 appearances, a 2.48 ERA, four wins and 29 innings while helping the squad to a 26-1 record when leading after eight innings.
Murphy, who has been limited this season due to injury, impressed in only 18 games by finishing fourth on the squad with a .317 batting average while tallying a season-high two RBI on three occasions. His best performance of the year was a 3-for-3 with a double against Campbell on April 18.