SUNDAY, MARCH 12, 2006
Baseball drops series finale to Belmont, 4-1
March 12, 2006
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Junior Pete Clifford extending his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games but the Dolphin bats went silent as the JU baseball team had their five-game winning streak snapped with a 4-1 loss to Belmont, Sunday afternoon at Alexander Brest Field. Despite the loss, the Dolphins are still off to their best start since going 19-3 during the 1989 season under former head coach Tom Bradley.
JU (16-4, 2-1) managed only three hits in the contest and senior LHP Donald Brickle was forced to leave in the fifth inning, with a 1-0 lead, after a come-backer hit off his throwing arm. Belmont (9-7, 1-2) starter Carlo Testa (2-1) hurled a complete game for the win.
"There's not much you can say except we got beat on the mound," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "We led off the game with two straight hits but we only got one more for the rest of the game."
Brickle was cruising through five innings before Brady Manifold led off the sixth with a shot back at the mound. The ball bounced off Brickle and rolled towards first base for an infield hit. After Brickle left, Matt Reynolds followed with a single to left and Ben Petsch walked to load the bases before Wilson Tucker hit a grand slam over the left-field wall.
Sophomore RHP Matt Davis (1-1) was tagged with the loss despite not allowing a run in the final three innings. Senior Gordie Gronkowski also extended his season-high hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the eighth inning.
Testa, who threw 151 pitches in the contest, allowed only one run on three hits with six walks and seven strikeouts.
JU jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first when junior Justin Young and Clifford led off the game with back-to-back singles. Junior Daniel Murphy drove in Young from third with a fielder's choice to first but Testa got out of the inning with a double-play and a fly out.
The Dolphins threatened with runners on first and third with only one out in the eighth, but Clifford was called out at the plate trying to tag up on a fly ball to right by junior Mike McCallister, ending the inning.
The Dolphins will return to non-conference action on Tuesday at 6 p.m. as they begin a two-game set against Wagner at Alexander Brest Field.