SUNDAY, JUNE 04, 2006
Baseball out slugged by No. 7 Georgia, 15-8, to end 2006 NCAA Regional run

June 4, 2006

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ATHENS, Ga. - The miracle season has finally come to an end for the Dolphins as the JU baseball team was eliminated from the 2006 NCAA Regionals after a 15-8 loss to No. 7 Georgia, Sunday afternoon in third round action at Foley Field.

"We couldn't get their bats out today," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "I'm proud of how we battled back in this game but they hit everything that we tried to throw at them.

"I'm satisfied with our record and what we've accomplished this year but I want us to be a team that everyone is afraid to play. Until that happens, I will never be completely satisfied when a season comes to an end."

Sophomore Matt Dobbins (12-2) suffered his second loss of the regional after allowing a season-high eight runs on nine hits with two walks in three innings of work. Senior Gordie Gronkowski led the Dolphin offense with three RBI. The game also marked the final contest for seniors Donald Brickle, Kyle DeVries, James Murdock, Aaron Parvey and Gronkowski.

Nathan Moreau (8-1) earned the win after allowing eight runs on 12 hits with a walk and four strikeouts. Joey Side finished 3-for-6 with a triple, a home run and six RBI to lead the Bulldogs as Georgia belted four homers in the contest.

Georgia took a 5-0 lead in the top of the second when Kyle Keen hit an RBI ground-rule double over the wall in the right-field corner, Mathew Dunn laced an RBI single to center and Joey Side cleared the bases with a three-run homer to right center.

JU cut the deficit to 5-3 in the bottom of the third when Gronkowski clobbered a three-run shot over the left-center wall. With one out, junior Logan James singled up the middle and then moved to second when junior Pete Clifford singled to center. With two outs, Gronkowski nailed a 2-1 pitch through the trees to put the Dolphins back in the game. With the homer, he moved into ninth on the JU career list with 26 home runs.

The Bulldogs pushed the lead to 9-3 in the top of the fourth after a three-run triple down the left-field line by Side and a sacrifice fly to center by Josh Morris.

The Dolphins cut the lead to 9-5 in the bottom of the fourth when Vickers hit a two-run shot in the trees in left center. With one out, sophomore Matt Lopez dropped in a single to left before Vickers hit a 2-1 pitch for his first home run of the season.

Georgia made it 11-5 in the sixth after an RBI triple to right center by Morris and an RBI single through the right side by Bobby Felmy.

The Bulldogs increased the lead to 15-5 in the seventh when Jonathan Wyatt hit a solo home run to right, Morris hit a two-run homer to left and Jason Jacobs hit a two-run shot to left.

JU cut the lead to 15-8 in the eighth after an RBI single through the left side by McCallister, an RBI grounder to short by Lopez and an RBI single to center by junior Thomas LePage.

JU finishes the 2006 season by tying the second most wins in program history (1991) with 23 wins. The Dolphins earned their first Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season crown and won their first NCAA Regional contest since 2001. Sophomore Matt Dobbins earned All-America honors from the Collegiate Baseball Foundation and Louisville Slugger and is a semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace College Baseball Player of the Year Award. Head coach Terry Alexander was named A-Sun Coach of the Year, junior Daniel Murphy was named conference player of the year and Dobbins was named conference pitcher of the year.