SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2006
Bad breaks send Baseball to an 8-7 loss to Maryland
Feb. 25, 2006
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Junior Pete Clifford finished 5-for-6 with a double and senior Gordie Gronkowski hit a three-run homer but the JU baseball team had luck against them as Maryland rallied for an 8-7 win, Saturday evening at Alexander Brest Field.
JU (9-2) had its seven-game winning streak snapped despite scoring seven runs on 16 hits. Maryland (2-6) won its first game against the Dolphins in the all-time series (1-5).
"We got some early runs, but we couldn't get a big enough cushion tonight," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "They made some plays in the field and we couldn't break through."
With the game tied (7-7) in the bottom of the seventh, JU had an opportunity to blow the game open but a couple of strokes of luck for the Terps left the Dolphins with no runs. With runners on first and second and two out, Gronkowski laced shot up the middle but the ball struck the infield umpire in the leg, taking away a sure run for JU. Junior Thomas LePage followed with a slicing drive towards the left-field corner, but a diving over the shoulder catch by Nolan took away three more runs.
John Dischert (1-1) earned the win for the Terps despite allowing a three-run shot to Gronkowski in the bottom of the sixth. Brett Cecil logged his second save after scattering three hits with a strikeout in two innings of relief.
JU jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Murphy hit an RBI single through the left side, McCallister ripped a two-run double in the left-field corner and freshman Brad Simmons blooped an RBI single to left. Junior Logan James and Clifford led off the inning with back-to-back singles before Murphy pulled a ball through the right side. With two outs, McCallister emptied the bases with a double before coming home when a single dropped for Simmons.
Maryland cut the deficit to 4-3 in the top of the fifth after a two-run double to left center by Mike Murphy and an RBI single up the middle by Wink Nolan.
The Terps took their first lead of the series, 5-4, in the top fifth when Gerry Spessard hit a two-run double to left-center field.
The Dolphins recaptured the lead, 7-5, in the bottom of the sixth when Gronkowski hit a towering three-run homer to left-center field. Clifford led off the inning with a single to right and then advanced to second on a catcher's interference call to Murphy. With the count 0-2, Gronkowski hit a Dischert offering over the left center wall for his third home run of the season.
The Terps evened the game, 7-7, in the top of the seventh when Steve Braun hit an RBI double to center field and then later scored on a wild pitch.
Maryland regained the lead, 8-7, in the top of the eighth when Nick Jowers laced an RBI double to left.
The Dolphins and Terps conclude their three-game series at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Alexander Brest Field.