Baseball rallies to top ETSU, 6-5

April 22, 2006

Final Stats

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - If there is one thing for certain, the JU baseball team has a flair for the dramatic.

Brian Hudgins two-out infield single in the ninth capped a three-run rally by the Dolphins as JU overcame a 5-3 deficit to stay atop the Atlantic Sun Conference standings with a 6-5 win over East Tennessee State Friday night, despite a 61-minute rain delay.

"When we are feeling it, we can do some special things," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "When we got down 5-3 and they brought their closer in, we didn't give away an at bat. We made them work to get us out and we finally strung together some hits to win the game."

After pinch hitter Stefan Hertel grounded out to start the ninth, the Dolphins (29-12, 11-5 A-Sun) got back-to-back hits by Justin Young and Anthony Bernazard to start the rally.

Pete Clifford followed with a single through the left side drove in Young and Bernazard to tie the game.

With two outs, Gordie Gronkowski kept the inning alive with a single to right field. A moment later, Gronkowski and Clifford advanced to second and third after a balk by ETSU reliever Caleb Glafenhein.

Hudgins, who came in the game an inning earlier as a pinch runner, hit a roller back through the middle which ETSU second baseman Michael Courtney chased down but couldn't get enough on the throw to get Hudgins, allowing Clifford to score the winning run.

ETSU (21-19, 8-11 A-Sun) had rallied from a 3-2 deficit with three runs in the top of the seventh to setup the ninth inning theatrics. The Bucs were able to chase starter Matt Dobbins and reliever Aaron Parvey, as they pounded out two RBI singles and scored on a wild pitch to take the lead.

The Dolphins had taken an early 2-0 lead in the third as Daniel Murphy laced a single down the line to drive home Bernazard and Young.

The Bucs answered with one run in the fourth and another in the fifth to tie the game. JU jumped back on top in the sixth with as Brad Simmons' suicide squeeze bunt allowed Thomas LePage to score from third and give JU the lead.

Matt Davis (4-1) took over for Parvey and pitched two scoreless innings of relief for the win. Dobbins pitched well, despite the weather delay, allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out six and walking two in 6.1 innings.

ETSU's closer Steven Calicutt (6-4) got the loss, allowing three runs on five hits in 2.1 innings of work.

The two teams will face off in game two of the three-game series on Saturday. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.