SATURDAY, APRIL 01, 2006
Baseball rallies in the ninth but eventually falls to Gardner-Webb, 11-10
April 1, 2006
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Senior Gordie Gronkowski extended his career high hitting streak to 23 games and the Dolphins rallied for five runs in the ninth but a line out with runners on base gave Gardner-Webb an 11-10 win over the JU baseball team in an Atlantic Sun Conference action, Saturday afternoon at Alexander Brest Field. Despite the loss, the Dolphins earned its first season series win against GWU in program history.
JU (23-9, 5-4) committed a season-high five errors in the contest as the Bulldogs (14-13, 5-4) built an 11-5 lead going into the bottom of the ninth. With runners on first and second, sophomore Matt Dobbins' liner up the middle was snared by a diving Tyler Johnson at short to end the game.
"We made a lot of mistakes in the field today and we dug ourselves too big of a hole to crawl out of," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "I'm proud of the effort we showed in the ninth, but if we play our game, we wouldn't be in that kind of situation."
Kyle Kampi (3-0) earned the win after allowing five runs on 12 hits with two walks and four strikeouts in eight innings. Josh Brewery earned the save after recording the last out of the contest.
Junior RHP D.J. Ackley (2-3) was tagged with the loss after allowing seven runs (five earned) on seven hits with four strikeouts in four innings of relief. Junior RHP Justin Young hurled two innings of perfect relief to end the game. Young also finished 3-for-5 with a double, a triple and three RBI to lead the Dolphin offense. Gronkowski finished 2-for-4 with a home run, while sophomore Matt Lopez and freshmen Brad Simmons and Anthony Bernazard each recorded multiple hits.
Gardner-Webb jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first before the Dolphins picked up two runs in the bottom of the second. The Bulldogs made it 4-2 in the top of the fourth before JU tied the contest, 4-4, in the bottom of the inning. GWU extended the lead to 11-4 with a run in the fifth, two runs in the sixth and four runs in the seventh inning. Gronkowski's solo shot in the bottom of the seventh made it 11-5.
In the bottom of the ninth, Bernazard led off the inning with a single through the left side and then scored on a double to center by junior Daniel Murphy. After freshman Dan Maier walked, freshman Brian Hudgins brought Murphy home with a two out double to right field. Young followed with a two-run triple to center before freshman Stefan Hertel hit an RBI single to right. Lopez followed with a single through the right side before Dobbins lined out to end the game.
The Dolphins will return to action on Tuesday when the Dolphins travel to Mike Martin Field to play No. 1 Florida State at 6 p.m. The contest can be heard live on ESPN 1460 with Cole Pepper calling the play-by-play. The Dolphin Pre-Game show will air 15 minutes before first pitch.