Baseball stays alive with 4-3 win over Sacred Heart

June 3, 2006

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ATHENS, Ga. - Junior Daniel Murphy went 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI in his first start in seven games and junior D.J. Ackley hurled six-plus innings to lead the JU baseball team to a 4-1 win over Sacred Heart in the second round of the 2006 NCAA Regionals at Foley Field.

With the win, JU captured its first regional win since a 3-0 win over Bethune-Cookman on May 26, 2001. The win also snapped a three-game losing streak for JU and gives the Dolphins 43 wins, which ties the second-highest total in school history (1991).

"This was good win for us after our performance yesterday," said head coach Terry Alexander. "We just needed somebody to give us a chance today and D.J. got us started. Daniel steps up for us big time, going 3-for-4, which gave our lineup lift and helped our bats wake up."

Ackley (7-4) earned the win after allowing only one run on six hits in 6.1 innings of work while striking out three. Davis closed the game out to earn his sixth save with 2.2 innings of work while giving up two runs on three hits while striking out three.

JU jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the fourth inning when Young led off the inning with a solo shot over the trees in left field. After Gordie Gronkowski reached on an error at second base, Murphy lined a pitch into the right field gap for a single. McCallister followed with an RBI single to center to score Gronkowski from third.

The Pioneers cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh when Jason Maiella laced an RBI double down the left-field line. With a runner on second and only one out, sophomore Matt Davis entered the contest to strike out Rob Tencza and force Tim Lantz to groundout to third to end the inning.

The Dolphins increased the margin to 4-1 in the top of the eighth when Murphy laced an RBI double to left center and sophomore Matt Lopez hit an RBI single to left field. After Gronkowski led off the inning with a walk, Murphy hit the first pitch to the wall in left center to drive in the run. After pinch-runner Anthony Bernazard went to third on McCallister's groundout, Lopez lofted a single to left field.

SHU cut the lead to 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth when pinch hitter Dan Garcia led off the inning with a solo homer to dead center, followed by an RBI single by Bobby McKee.

Davis was able to wiggle his way out of the jam with just one out and the tying run on first, Josh Enos hit a line drive back to Davis that he snagged and flipped over to Gronkowski at first to snuff out the rally.

JU will face the loser of No. 1 Georgia/No. 2 Florida State on Sunday at 1 p.m. The contest can be heard live on ESPN 1460 or on with Cole Pepper calling the play-by-play and Joel Lamp providing color analysis. The game will also be televised on either Sun Sports or Fox Sports Network.