WEDNESDAY, MARCH 03, 2010
Baseball travels to Bethune-Cookman on Wednesday
Junior Matt Loosen will take to the hill against the Wildcats.
Junior Matt Loosen will take to the hill against the Wildcats.
After finishing a seven-game homestand to open the year, the JU baseball team (4-3) will face Bethune-Cookman (2-7) at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Wednesday at 6 p.m. JU leads B-CU in the all-time series, 47-8, and have won the last four meetings - including an 8-7 win in the Gainesville Regional on May 30, 2009. The contest can be followed on GameTracker by logging onto JUDolphins.com.

Martinez and Kaminski sweep A-Sun awards
Junior pitcher Chris Kaminski was named “Pitcher of the Week” while senior first baseman Alex Martinez earned “Player of the Week” to give the JU baseball team a sweep for the Atlantic Sun Conference weekly honors. JU went 3-1 for the week, sweeping the A-Sun “Series of the Week” with a 10-8 win over Richmond, a 4-3 victory over No. 20 Oklahoma and a 23-14 win over Valparaiso during the JU Invitational. After earning his first career start last weekend, Kaminski went back to what he does best - closing games. In two appearances last week, the JU closer notched a win over Richmond and then turned around the next night to earn his first save of the year against No. 20 Oklahoma. For the week, Kaminski was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and one save in two appearances while notching five strikeouts and allowing only two hits and no walks in 3.2 innings. Martinez was a big part of JU’s tremendous week as he batted .467 (7-15) with four doubles, a home run, seven RBI, 14 total bases, a .933 slugging percentage and a .529 on-base percentage in four games. Against College of Charleston he went 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Against Richmond, he went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI as JU won 10-8. Martinez had a hit and scored a run in a 4-3 win over the Sooners before ending the weekend by going 3-for-4 with a double, a home run while tying a career-high with four RBI. With his weekend, he is now riding a seven-game hitting streak.

Dolphin Notables
JU, which received preseason votes in the NCBWA and USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll, is currently receiving votes in the USA Today/ESPN poll...since starting the JU Invitational in 2008, the Dolphins are 8-2 in the tournament with a pair of wins over ranked opponents (Michigan, Oklahoma)...the Dolphins are now 4-5 in their last nine games against ranked opponents...JU’s 23 run and hit output vs. Valparaiso (2/28) was the most since JU tallied 26 hits in a 23-5 victory over at Mercer on May 11, 2009...last week, JU batted .356 (53-149) as a team and raised its season average from .258 to .309...junior pitchers Sean Green and Matt Loosen made their first appearances of the season vs. Valparaiso (2/28).

Chuck-O milestone
Senior Chuck Opachich enters his final year in a Dolphin uniform and is primed to etch his name in the JU history book. A major cog in the program’s most successful run in the last four years, Opachich has garnered several honors including A-Sun all-freshman (2007), A-Sun preseason all-conference (2008, 2010), A-Sun all-tournament (2007, 2009) and A-Sun first team all-conference (2009) accolades. Last season, Opachich set a milestone by tying Talmadge Nunnari (1997) with a program record 27-game hitting streak. In the JU single-season record book, he also tied Talmadge Nunnari (1997) with 90 hits on the year. He is off to a good start in 2010 by going 13-for-27 (.481) with 10 runs and seven RBI through seven games. In the career book, he is currently 93 hits behind Ernie Carr (1985-88) for the program record. Opachich needs 15 to pass Rocky Rausch (1974-77) for fifth.

“Wild Thing” is back
JU has been in desperate need of a closer since Hunter Davis tallied 11 in 2005 and now the Dolphins have one in junior Chris Kaminski. The Richmond, Texas native joined JU in 2009 after going 6-0 with a 3.86 ERA, four saves and 54 strikeouts as a freshman at Weatherford Junior College. Kaminski lived up to the hype by leading the A-Sun with eight saves in nine opportunities last season while toping the bullpen with 25 appearances, a 2.70 ERA, five wins and 33.1 innings while helping the squad to a 28-1 record when leading after eight innings. For his efforts, he earned A-Sun second team all-conference honors and was named to the 2010 preseason all-conference team. Currently ninth on the JU career list, Kaminski needs four saves to pass Davis and Scott Porter (1996-99) for fifth. He needs only eight saves to overcome Joe Ausanio (1985-88) as the programs top closer. This season, Kaminksi started one game due to injuries and earned a no-decision in seven innings against UNC-Wilmington (2/21). He moved back to his comfort level the next weekend and single-handedly closed the door on wins against Richmond and No. 20 Oklahoma in the JU Invitational. For his efforts, he was named A-Sun “Pitcher of the Week” on March 1.

Hold on Loosen
Junior Matt Loosen was "Mr. Fix It" out of the bullpen in 17 games for JU in 2009. In six appearances out of the pen, Loosen tallied two saves while posting a 2.35 ERA, a staff-high 22 strikeouts and a bullpen-best 15.1 innings of work. Among his most influential outings was striking out four in the final two innings in a win over No. 6 Florida State. Loosen also helped turn the tide in the SunTrust River City Rumble series by tallying the save in a 4-3 win over UNF in game two. Due to injuries, Loosen was pressed into service in the starting rotation and has been there ever since. He led the staff with 91 strikeouts, 80 innings and a .235 opponent batting average to garner second team all-conference honors. He was among three Dolphins to be named to the 2010 A-Sun all-preseason team. After missing the first week of the season with a knee injury, Loosen made his first appearance against Richmond on Feb. 28. He allowed one run on three hits while striking out six batters in two innings of relief.