NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Clutch two-out hitting and signature performance by Adam Maxon (Oviedo, Fla.) helped Jacksonville earn a double header split at Lipscomb on Saturday at Ken Dugan Field. The Dolphins (5-12; 1-2 A-Sun) 7-6 win in game two allowed them to avoid a weekend sweep after the Bisons (12-9; 2-1 A-Sun) took game one 17-6.
“When you are trying to do things in this conference one of the things you can’t do is get swept on the road,” said Head Coach Tim Montez. “The nightcap was a huge win especially after getting slugged in the mouth that first game. It just shows you a lot about the resolve and character on this club.”
After pounding out 24 hits and 23 runs in the first 16 innings on Saturday, Maxon shut down the vaulted Lipscomb lineup retiring six straight to close out the game and earn his third save of the year.
“Maxon led as a senior should and probably threw the best two innings I’ve seen stuff wise in his career,” Montez said of his senior captain. “The whole bullpen did an outstanding job and kept us in the game when we needed to cool them off a bit.”
Clutch hitting by Angelo Amendolare (Edgewater, Fla.), Parker Perez (Edgewater, Fla.) and Dylan Dillard (Kissimmee, Fla.) led the Dolphins at the plate. Amendolare broke a 6-6 tie in the top of the eighth with a two out single to right that scored Cameron Gibson (Conyers, Ga.) after he singled and stole a base to leadoff the inning. The key hit by Perez came in the fourth with the Dolphins trailing 4-3. Following Amendolare’s walk to load the bases with two out, Perez lined a double into the right center gap bringing all three runners home and put the Dolphins on top 6-4.
“The spark that we had was the change in the lineup for game two,” added Montez. “We decided to roll the dice and put Perez in the two hole and he came up with a big hit that brought us right back into the ball game.”
Dillard’s two-out hit came back in the third as the A-Sun All-Freshman Team selection in 2013 hit a team best .417 (5-for-12) on the weekend. After Lipscomb just went up 3-1 in the second on a three run home run, Dillard ripped a two-run double down the third baseline and tied the game at 3-3.
The trio along with Connor Marabell (Jacksonville, Fla.) in the three-hole finished the game a combined 7-for-17 with seven RBI and four runs scored.
“Anytime you can get seven hits out of your first four guys in the lineup you’re going to have a chance to be on the positive side,” Montez said about the top of his order. “A lot of credit goes to the coaching staff for keeping these guys upbeat and believing in themselves.
Michael Babb (Jacksonville, Fla.) also had three hits and a run scored in the game.
Senior Zach Gordon (St. Petersburg, Fla.) earned the win on the mound to improve to 1-3 on the year. Gordon went 1.1 innings allowing one hit and no runs before handing the ball off to Maxon in the eighth.
In game one the top hitting team in the A-Sun lived up to its billing in game one as Lipscomb hit three home runs on the way to the 17-6 win.
Jacksonville was opportunistic in its scoring chances posting its six runs on four hits. As they did on Friday night the Dolphins got on the board first on a RBI groundout by Marabell. Dillard added a single later in the inning and eventually came around to score on an error when Scott Schaub (Jacksonville, Fla.) singled back up the middle off the pitcher.
Lipscomb would get one run back in the second before a Drew Adams solo home run in the third tied the game. The contest stay close early with the Dolphins taking leads of 3-2 in the top of the fourth and 5-4 in the top of the fifth. Unfortunately Jacksonville didn’t have an answer for the Lipscomb bats as three runs in the bottom of the fifth gave them a 7-5 lead. The Bisons then broke the game open with a 5-run sixth that included a three-run home run by Austin Sistrunk.
Perez (0-1) who came on in relief of starter Justin Russell (Jacksonville, Fla.) in the fifth took the loss for the Dolphins. Amendolare added a triple in the ninth to finish game one 1-for-3 with two runs scored and a RBI.
Jacksonville returns to action on Tuesday when they host USF at John Sessions Stadium at 6:00 pm.