MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2006
Baseball opens three-game series at USF on Tuesday

Feb. 13, 2006

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

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After winning three-of-four games last week, including a series win over Bethune-Cookman, the Dolphins will begin a three-game series against USF (2-1) at Red McEwen Field on Tuesday at 3 p.m. Last season, USF sweept the three-game series between the two squads, including two games at Alexander Brest Field.

In the latest action: Junior right fielder Mike McCallister went 3- for-4 with two home runs, a double and three RBI and sophomore LHP Matt Dobbins hurled seven shutout innings to lead JU to an 8-2 win over Bethune- Cookman, Sunday afternoon at Alexander Brest Field. JU scored a run in the second, three runs in the fourth and four runs in the eighth inning to win the three-game series. Bethune-Cookman scored both runs in the top of the ninth. Dobbins (1-0) earned his first win of the season after scattering three hits, while fanning seven batters, through seven shutout innings. Sophomore Matt Lopez finished 2-for-4 with two RBI and junior Thomas LePage went 2-for-4 to round out the Dolphins with multiple hits. Junior Daniel Murphy also connected on his second home run of the season.

Alexander in search of 500: JU head coach Terry Alexander set the the Dolphin program record for career wins (433) with a 7- 4 win over Bethune-Cookman on April 30, 2003 at Alexander Brest Field. He is within reach of surpassing another milestone in the early weeks of the 2006 season, the 500 win plateau. Alexander currently has 494 wins in his 16th year.

Dolphin notables: Against Georgia Southern, junior RHP Justin Young (1-0) picked up the win after hurling 1.2 innings of relief. Junior RHP D.J. Ackley also added two innings of scoreless relief to end the game. Offensively, junior Thomas LePage went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI. Against Bethune-Cookman, Young batted 5- for-10 with three RBI, LePage went 4-for-12 with a double and two RBI and sophomore Matt Lopez went 4-for-12 with three RBI. Senior LHP Kyle DeVries and sophomore LHP Matt Dobbins combined to go 2-0 with 10 strikeouts and a .140 opponent batting average in 13.0 scoreless innings. The Dolphins are averaging 9.8 runs per game and have scored at least 10 runs in three of the five games this season. JU is also outscoring its opponents 35-2 in the first four innings, including a 13-0 advantage in the fourth inning.

Tommy likey... Junior Thomas LePage started hot in the 2005 season due to the absense of Gordie Gronkowski, but in 2006, he's not going anywhere after another hot start. Assuming the designated hitter role, LePage leads the squad with a .476 batting average, 10 hits, four doubles and nine RBI. He is also batting .500 with runners on base (6- 12), .444 with the bases empty (4-9) and .500 (2-4) with the bases loaded.

New face on the staff: Tim Montez, an assistant head coach at Fresno State for the past three years, was named pitching coach/recruiting coordinator on July 11. In 14 seasons as an assistant coach at the Division I level, Montez has had 28 pitchers sign professional contracts and has coached, recruited or worked with 12 major league players. Prior to Fresno State, he served as a pitching coach with Arkansas, Cal State Northridge, UC Santa Barbara and Pepperdine. During that time, Montez has also been part of programs which have earned five NCAA Post-Season Regional berths (Pepperdine -1, UCSB - 1, Arkansas - 3), including a spot in the Super Regional (Arkansas, 2002).

Dolphins announce early signees: The Dolphins announced the signing of six student-athletes during the early signing period, including local products RHP Carson Andrew and shortstop Chuck Opachich (Jacksonville/Episcopal). The local duo will join RHP Glenn Witkowski (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), shortstop/RHP Matt Gardner (Livermore, Calif.), catcher Alex Swenson (Alexandria, Va.) and RHP Jason Hooper (Lake Mills, Wis.) in 2006. The signees marked the beginning of the first recruiting class under recruiting coordinator/pitching coach Tim Montez. Montez, who joined the Dolphins after a three-year stint with Fresno State, had nine nationally ranked recruiting classes in 12 years as a recruiting coordinator.

Dolphins ready to compete: JU will once again face a tough schedule as the Dolphins will play No. 16 Florida State. JU is also slated to play four other teams which played in last year's NCAA Regionals - Harvard, Ohio State, Florida Atlantic and Stetson. The Dolphins will also square off against perrenial powers USF, Connecticut, Maryland and Penn State. All totaled, the Dolphins will play seven teams from the state of Florida.

Atlantic Sun preseason rankings: The Dolphins are the tied for 5th in the Preseason Atlantic Sun Conference Coaches Poll and 6th in the Media Polls. Florida Atlantic was selected first in both polls while Stetson, North Florida, Gardner-Webb and East Tennessee State rounded out the top five.