March 11, 2002
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Senior rightfielder Phil Nover (Pace, Fla.) smashed a one-out, bases loaded triple in the bottom of the eighth inning to break open a close game and send Jacksonville to its third straight victory, 6-1, over Butler Monday night at Alexander Brest Field.
The Dolphins led 2-1 going into the eighth when Robby Cichra (Denton, Texas) singled to left to leadoff the inning. After Chris Reier (Jacksonville, Fla.) laid down a bunt to move Cichra to second, B.J. Weed (Maybrook, N.Y.) ripped a single to center and hustled to second after the relay throw from the outfield was not cutoff. The Bulldogs chose to intentionally walk Chad Oliva (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) to load the bases and paid for it when Nover came through. Juan Menendez (Key West, Fla.) followed with an RBI single to cap the scoring.
After a scoreless game through three innings, Butler took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth on a leadoff home run by catcher Tim Marks. The Bulldogs were on cruise control and kept their 1-0 advantage into the seventh behind the pitching of Pat Neshek, but JU's Darren Truty (Marengo, Ill.) kept the Dolphins in the game.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Oliva doubled off the wall in right-center, his first extra-base hit since Feb. 24. Menendez hit a screaming ground ball to third baseman Doug Kruthaupt, but Krupthaupt's throw to first was wide allowing Oliva to move to third and Menendez to second. Neshek then came unraveled, throwing a wild pitch allowing Oliva to score the tying run and committing a balk to plate Menendez with the go-ahead tally.
Truty earned the victory for the Dolphins, going eight innings and allowing one run on five hits and striking out eight. Jason Ryals (Gainesville, Fla.) came on to pitch a perfect ninth and struck out two. Neshek took the loss, going eight innings and allowing four earned runs on eight hits and striking out 11.
Nover led the Dolphins, going 2-for-3 with three RBI, while Menendez also collected two hits and drove in a run and scored a run. Marks went 2-for-4 with the home run, his first of the season.
JU (9-9) and Butler (4-5) will return to action on Tuesday as they face each other again at 7 p.m. at Alexander Brest Field.