FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2006
Baseball sweeps doubleheader against Gardner-Webb
March 31, 2006
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Sophomore LHP Matt Dobbins won his eighth consecutive decision and the Dolphins scored a run in the bottom of the ninth on one of the wackiest plays in baseball to take the night cap as the JU baseball team swept Gardner-Webb in an Atlantic Sun Conference doubleheader, 9-2, 10-9, Friday at Alexander Brest Field. The Dolphins are off to their best start since going 25-7 during the 1999 season.
JU (23-8, 5-3) snapped a five-game losing streak against the Bulldogs (13-13, 4-4) and earned its first season series win against GWU in program history. Senior Gordie Gronkowski also extended his career high hitting streak to 22 games.
"It was important that we win this second game because it carries the momentum going into the last day," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "We played well in the first game and then we didn't allow them to take the lead in the second game."
In the finale, JU lead 9-8 heading into the top of the ninth but Gardner-Webb rallied with two outs. Pinch-hitter Joey Testa hit a single through the right side and Brock Miller entered as a pinch-runner. Miller stole second base and then moved to third when junior Donnie Vicker's throw trickled into center field. After Daniel Cooke drew a walk, Miller stole home to tie the ballgame.
In the bottom of the ninth, Vickers walked with two outs and sophomore Matt Lopez was hit on the head to put runners on first and second. Junior Logan James pinch ran for Vickers and junior Thomas LePage entered as a pinch hitter. On the next play, James headed for third when Tim Thomas' pitch got away from Trey Miller. Miller picked up the ball and attempted to throw out James at third, but his throw struck LePage in the back of the helmet as he stood in the batters box, allowing James to score the game-winning run.
Senior Aaron Parvey (3-1) earned the win after allowing one run on one hit in 2.1 innings of relief. Gronkowski went 2-for-4 with four RBI, including his fourth home run of the season.
Thomas (3-4) was tagged with the loss after allowing two runs (none earned) on three hits in 4.2 innings of relief.
In game one, Dobbins (8-0) earned the win after allowing only two runs (none earned) on six hits in 6.2 innings of work. Senior RHP James Murdock closed out the contest with 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. James went 3-for-4 with two RBI to lead the Dolphin offense. Junior Pete Clifford, sophomore John Tiner and LePage also finished with two RBI.
The Dolphins scored three runs in the first and fourth inning to take a 6-0 lead before the Bulldogs cut the margin to 6-2 in the top of the seventh. JU answered with a run in the eighth and two runs in the ninth to seal the game.
Matt Tafazzoli (4-3) was tagged with the loss after allowing six runs on 11 hits with four walks and six strikeouts in six innings of work.
The Dolphins will play the finale against Gardner-Webb tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Alexander Brest Field. The conetest can be heard live on ESPN 1460 with Cole Pepper calling play-by-play and Travis Baptist providing color analysis. The Dolpin Pre-Game show will begin 15 minutes before first pitch.