THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2006
Baseball hosts Maryland for a three-game set this weekend
Feb. 23, 2006
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -
After sweeping a season series against Georgia Southern for the first time since 1999 on Tuesday, the Dolphins will return to Alexander Breast Field for a six-game homestand beginning this weekend against Maryland on Friday at 4 p.m. The second game will be on Saturday at 6 p.m. before the series finale on Sunday at 1 p.m. JU, which has won six consecutive games, own a 4-0 all-time record against the Terps. The last meeting between the two schools was a 12-2 win at the Disney Blast on Jan. 30, 1999.
In the latest action: Junior RHP D.J. Ackley won his second game and senior LHP Aaron Parvey earned his first career save to lead the JU baseball team to a 5-2 win over Georgia Southern, Tuesday afternoon at J.I. Clements Stadium. JU won its sixth consecutive game after breaking the game open with three runs in the top of the fourth. After winning a season series against South Florida last week, the Dolphins earn their first season sweep against the Eagles since 1999. Georgia Southern (4-5) could only manage a pair of runs in the first and sixth inning. Ackley (2-1) earned the win after allowing two runs on five hits while walking two and striking out four in six innings. Parvey earned the save after hurling three innings of scoreless relief. Juniors Logan James and Thomas LePage each finished with multiple hits, while junior Mike McCallister hit a solo home run.
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 now within reach of surpassing another milestone in the early weeks of the 2006 season, the 500 win plateau. Alexander currently has 498 wins in his 16th year.
Dolphin notables: The Dolphins are averaging 8.6 runs per game and have scored at least 10 runs in four of the nine games this season. JU is also outscoring its opponents 53-9 in the first four innings, including a 16-2 advantage in the fourth inning. JU currently has 77 runs, 11 home runs and 144 total bases compared to 27 runs, no home runs and 78 total bases for its opponents.
Mighty Justin Young: Junior outfielder Justin Young was named Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Week after leading the Dolphins to a three-game sweep over South Florida last week. Young becomes the first Dolphin to receive A-Sun accolades this season and the first JU field player selected since Donald Brickle won the award on March 22, 2004. In game one of the series at Red McEwen Field, Young went 2-for-3 with a double and made several key plays in center field to give the Dolphins a 4-3 win. In game two, he led an offensive onslaught against preseason All-America honoree Casey Hudspeth by going 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBI en route to an 11-6 victory. In the finale, Young had an RBI single and hurled 1.1 innings of relief to lead the Dolphins to an 8-4 win. For the week, he batted .556 (5-9) with a double, a home run, five RBI and a 1.000 slugging percentage. Young leads the Dolphins with a .440 batting average and a .548 on-base percentage, while also ranking second with 11 hits and 11 RBI. He has also made two appearances on the mound to help support the Dolphin bullpen, as JU picked up its first series win over South Florida since 2001.
No, the other Tim Brown: Freshman RHP Tim Brown has proven to be a jack of all trades for the Dolphin pitching staff in the beginning of the season. In the past two games, Brown is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA a save, three hits allowed and a .157 opponents batting average in 5.2 innings of work. For the year, he has a 1.04 ERA, a .172 opponent batting average and five hits in 8.2 innings.
Big Mac: Junior outfielder Mike McCallister has been a pleasant addition to the Dolphin lineup after transferring from Alabama. A steady defender in right field, McCallister has made the biggest impact at the plate where he is scorching balls across the field. In his breakout performance in a Dolphin uniform, he went 3-for-4 with a double, two home runs and three RBI against Bethune-Cookman on Feb. 12. He has also driven in seven runs in the Dolphins' last three games. He currently leads the squad with four home runs and a .786 slugging percentage.
Mystery Matt: Sophomore LHP Matt Dobbins is part of a strong starting rotation that has helped the Dolphins off to their hot start in 2006. Mainly a position player last season, Dobbins has made a smooth transition and is making opposing batters scratch their heads. After a no-decision against Georgia Southern on Feb. 7, he has gone 2-0 with a 0.64 and a .190 opponent batting average in his last two starts (Bethune-Cookman & South Florida). He currently leads all starters with 16 strikeouts, 20.1 innings and a .225 opponent batting average.
Turning LePage: Junior Thomas LePage started hot in the 2005 season due to the absence of Gordie Gronkowski at first base, but in 2006, he's not going anywhere after another hot start in 2006. Assuming the designated hitter role, LePage leads the squad with four doubles and 12 RBI. He also its tied for the team lead with five multi-hits and four multi-RBI games, including a career-high three hits and four RBI in the season opener at Florida A&M.
Murphisms: Junior third baseman Daniel Murphy has picked up where he left off in 2005 and during summer league play, while also providing the Dolphins with a solid glove at the hot corner. Last season, Murphy had a .238 average heading into a three-game series against UCF on March 25 before finishing the year with a team-high .329 after going 72-for-219 to raise his average over 90 points. Over the summer, Murphy earned Valley Baseball League Most Valuable Player honors with the Luray Wranglers after leading the league with 57 hits, 44 runs scored and 16 doubles. In 2006, he is batting .323 with 10 hits, two home runs, nine RBI and a team-high 13 runs.