Baseball takes game two from ETSU, 9-7

April 22, 2006

Final Stats

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville baseball team put up nine runs before the rain delay and then let the defense take over after the delay to take game two of the three-game series from East Tennessee State, 9-7, at Alexander Brest Field on Saturday.

Before the hour-and-a-half delay, the Dolphins piled up eight runs, with the trio of Matt Lopex, Daniel Murphy and Pete Clifford each driving in two runs apiece.

After the delay, Justin Young threw 3.2 innings of scoreless relief while racking up five strikeouts to record his first save of the season.

"This team knows how to put crooked numbers on the scoreboard," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "We had a nice string of hits in the second that got us going. Then we get a break in the fifth and score three runs off of that."

It was the second inning that got JU jump started. After ETSU (21-20, 8-12 A-Sun) had scored two in the first, the Dolphins racked up five runs to take the lead. Thomas LePage started a streak of five straight hits, including RBI singles by Don Vickers and Lopez. Clifford capped the inning with a two-run double off the wall to extend JU's lead.

The Dolphins (30-12, 12-5 A-Sun) were able to put three more in the fourth, but not without some help from ETSU. With two outs, Clifford's routine fly ball to center field was dropped by ETSU's Stephen Douglas, giving JU new life.

Jacksonville took advantage as Daniel Murphy hit a two-run home run over the right field wall to put JU up 7-2. Gordie Gronkowski followed right after with a home run to center field to give the Dolphins an 8-2 lead.

The Bucs put up three runs in the fifth on a three run home run by Shane Byrne to cut the lead back to three, 8-5. ETSU put up two more in the top of the sixth to cut the lead to one, 8-7.

Then the rains came down, delaying the game for 1 hour and 37 minutes, with the Dolphins batting in the bottom of the sixth.

When play resumed, Lopez walked with the bases loaded to score Murphy from third and give JU a 9-7 lead.

That's when Young went to work, retiring all but two of the batters he faced for his first save. D.J. Ackley (4-3) got the win, allowing seven runs, six earned, on eight hits in 5.1 innings of work while striking out three and walking one.

Joey McCown (5-2) got the loss for ETSU, giving up eight runs, five earned, on 10 hits while walking one and striking out three.

The two teams hook up for the finale of the three-game series on Sunday at 1 p.m.