SATURDAY, MAY 13, 2006
Late heroics come up short for Baseball in 4-3 loss to Mercer

May 13, 2006

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The ninth-inning magic ran out for the Dolphins as the JU baseball team dropped a 4-3 contest to Mercer in the series finale, Saturday evening on Senior Night at Alexander Brest Field.

JU (38-15, 20-7) had its five-game winning streak snapped after failing to score with the bases loaded and only one out in the ninth inning. Mercer (30-23, 17-10) broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the ninth when Shawn Barrett hit an RBI single through the left side with two outs.

After a base hit to center by junior Pete Clifford and a bunt single to first by freshman Anthony Bernazard, Mercer reliever Andrew Urena was forced to leave the game when the Bears coaching staff used up their visits to the mound unintentionally. Hunter Abercrombie entered the game and struck out senior Gordie Gronkowski looking before loading the bases with an intentional walk to junior Mike McCallister. In the next at-bat, pinch hitter Stefan Hertel looked to foul a ball off the plate but the play was ruled fair, allowing catcher Josh Thompson to induce a home-to-first double-play to end the game.

"We stole one from them last night and they found a way to win in the finale," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "We caught some breaks in the ninth but Abercrombie came in and made the big pitches."

Urena (3-1) earned the win after hurling two innings of scoreless relief with four hits, two walks and three strikeouts. Abercrombie collected his first save of the season after throwing one inning of hitless relief.

Senior LHP Kyle DeVries (3-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing one run (unearned) on two hits with a walk in two-thirds of an inning. Freshman RHP Tim Brown hurled three scoreless innings of relief with three strikeouts and freshman RHP Joey Wedner allowed one run (unearned) on three hits in three innings to start the game. Clifford, Gronkowski and Bernazard each finished with two hits to lead the Dolphin offense.

Mercer took an early 1-0 lead in the third when Barrett hit an RBI single through the left side. The Bears extended the margin to 2-0 in the fourth after an RBI single up the middle by Billy Shaughnessy.

JU cut the deficit to 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth when junior Thomas LePage hit a sacrifice fly to center field.

Mercer made it 3-1 in the fifth when Thompson hit a solo home run to left center-field.

The Dolphins evened the contest, 3-3, in the bottom of the sixth when sophomore Matt Lopez hit a two-run single through the left side.

The Dolphins will conclude the 2006 regular season with a three-game series at Lipscomb this week.