SATURDAY, MARCH 11, 2006
Murphy's walk-off blast gives Baseball a 6-5 win over Belmont
March 11, 2006
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Junior Daniel Murphy's walk-off home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth squashed a Bruin rally as the JU baseball team defeated Belmont, 6-5, in the Atlantic Sun play, Saturday afternoon at Alexander Brest Field. The Dolphins are off to their best start since going 19-3 during the 1989 season under former head coach Tom Bradley.
JU (16-3, 2-0) is now 4-3 in one-run contests as the Dolphins earned their second straight season-series win over the Bruins. Belmont (8-7, 0-2) rallied for three runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game until Murphy pulled a 1-1 pitch to right off of Bruin closer Chris Manning (0-1) with two outs.
"This was a classic example of games between A-Sun opponents," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "Every pitch was important and both teams battled to stay alive. We had our backs against the wall a couple of times but we came up with the big plays when we needed to."
Freshman RHP Tim Brown (1-0) earned the win despite a rough ninth inning. Junior RHP D.J. Ackley earned the no-decision after allowing two runs on five hits with no walks and six strikeouts in seven innings.
Murphy finished 3-for-4 with a home run, a double and two RBI to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Junior Pete Clifford went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI to extend his team-leading hitting steak to 12 games. Senior Gordie Gronkowski also extended his hitting streak 10 games with a single in the sixth inning.
Belmont jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Kane Simmons hit a come-backer off of Ackley to drive in Ben Petsch from third. The Bruins made it 2-0 in the top of the third after a solo home run to left by Petsch.
JU evened the contest at 2-2 in the bottom of the third when Clifford hit a sacrifice fly to center and Murphy laced an RBI single to right field.
The Dolphins took their first lead, 4-2, in the bottom of the sixth after a solo homer to right by Clifford and an RBI single to center field by junior Thomas LePage. JU increased the lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the eighth after an RBI single to right by sophomore Matt Lopez.
Belmont tied the contest, 5-5, in the top of the ninth when pinch hitter Sam Grooms blooped a two-run single to right with the bases loaded and Brady Manifold drove in Jon Camp from third with a groundout to first.
The Dolphins conclude their three-game series against Belmont on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Alexander Brest Field.