SUNDAY, APRIL 23, 2006
Baseball drops series finale to ETSU, 8-7
April 23, 2006
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Five unearned runs in the first two innings put the Jacksonville baseball team in a hole they couldn't overcome, dropping the finale of the three-game series to ETSU, 8-7, at Alexander Brest Field on Sunday.
The Dolphins (30-13, 12-6 A-Sun) fell behind early 5-0 and trailed 8-2 going into the bottom of the seventh.
JU was able to put up three in the seventh and two in the eighth and for the first time all weekend, the Dolphins weren't able to get the big hit with two outs as Daniel Murphy lined out with the tying run on third base.
"We just made too many mistakes today," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "I wasn't pleased with our defense. That's something we prided ourselves on at the beginning of the season and it let us down today. We've got to do a better job."
The Bucs (22-20, 9-12 A-Sun) got two runs in the first inning with some help from the Dolphins. With two on and one out, a passed ball moved both runners into scoring position, allowing C.J. Lee to drive in one on a ground out. The other run came courtesy of a throwing error by pitcher Tim Brown, who had Shane Byrne in a rundown, put threw it past Murphy allowing the run to score.
ETSU piled up three more in the second to open a 5-0 lead. Shortstop Matt Lopez misplayed a ground ball by Ben Allen and a walk to Matt Traylor setup a two-out three-run homer by Byrne to expand the lead.
The Dolphins started clawing back into the game in the third, putting up two runs. A RBI double by Anthony Bernazard put him in scoring position, which was followed by him stealing third and scoring on sacrifice fly by Murphy.
The Bucs countered with two more in the fifth to chase Brown from the game. A leadoff single by Lee was followed by a RBI double by Blake Church. After advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt, Church scored when Brown's pickoff attempt at third went to the fence.
After the Bucs up a run in the seventh to take an 8-2 lead, the Dolphins roared back with three in the bottom half of the inning. Murphy's routine ground ball to second baseman Michael Courtney rolled right between his legs, allowing Lopez and John Tiner to score.
Gordie Gronkowski followed with a RBI single to drive in Bernazard and cut the lead to 8-5.
JU got even closer in the eighth. Mike McCallister led off the eighth with a solo home run to left field to cut the lead to 8-6. Lopez followed with a single and Don Vickers, who had come in as a defensive replacement in the top of the inning, hit a double into left field to move the tying run into scoring position.
Bernazard grounded out to short, driving home Lopez, to cut the lead to one, 8-7.
ETSU brought in their closer, Steven Calicutt who promptly walked Pete Clifford to put the go-ahead run on base. Murphy stepped up and lined out to second to end the threat.
Calicutt shut the Dolphins down in the ninth to earn hi seventh save of the season. Ryan Howe got the win for ETSU, giving up four runs, two earned, on five hits in 6.1 innings of work. He struck out four and walked four.
Brown got the loss for JU, giving up seven runs, only two of which were earned, on 10 hits in 4.1 innings. He struck out two and walked one.
The Dolphins are back in action with a doubleheader Saturday at Florida Atlantic.