The Dolphin offense was dormant on Wednesday night but the squad returned to its old tactics from Sunday as the JU baseball team defeated Wagner, 18-8, Saturday evening at John Sessions Stadium.
JU (5-4) would rally to tie the contest from two deficits (5-0 in the first, 8-5 in the fourth) before opening the flood gates with 13 runs in the final four innings.
WC (0-4) scored eight runs in the first four innings but failed to plate a run in the final five as JU scored 13 unanswered runs.
“I’m glad to see our offense get back on track tonight,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “This was a long game in the cold but we came away with a win, some guys have some confidence at the plate and we didn’t use up a lot of arms in the process. This is the first game in a long stretch for us and each win is big for us.”
Senior Brian Gilroy (1-0) got the win after allowing only one hit in a perfect inning of relief. Sophomore Baker Chapman also notched a perfect inning of relief before sophomore Clay Kollenbaum hurled three innings of scoreless relief to notch the save.
Sophomore Steve Eagerton got the no-decision in his first action since 2008 by allowing five runs (none earned) on four hits with one walk in two innings of work.
Jack Rice (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing five runs on five hits with a walk and three strikeouts in three innings of relief. Ryan Van Spronsen also got the no-decision after allowing five runs (four earned) on three hits with four walks and three strikeouts in two innings.
Senior second baseman Chuck Opachich extended his hitting streak to 11 games after going 3-for-5 with double and two stolen bases. Sophomore first baseman Kevin Lehane went 2-for-4 with a grand slam while junior Glen Johnson added a three-run shot as a pinch hitter in the eighth. Senior designated hitter Alex Martinez (double) and sophomore third baseman Jimmy Howick (triple) each also finished with multiple hits which sophomore right fielder Jonathan Murphy drove in three runs.
Jon Lucas led the Seahawks by going 3-for-5 with double and two RBI while Seth Boyd and Kevin McDonnell each finished with multiple hits.
Wagner jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the first after taking advantage of a Dolphin fielding error with two outs. Following the mishap, the Seahawks pounded out two hits while also taking advantage of a walk and a hit batsman.
The Dolphins answered right back in the bottom of the first when Lehane hit a grand slam to left with one out.
With one out, junior left fielder Chris Connelly drew a walk and then advanced to second after a fielding error by Boyd at second off the bat of freshman center fielder Dan Gulbransen. After Martinez poked a ball through the right side to load the bases, Lehane crushed the first pitch he saw for his first round tripper of the year.
JU evened things up, 5-5, in the bottom of the second when Opachich scored from third on a throwing error by Seahawk catcher MJ Dugan on a stolen base. Opachich laced a double down the right-field with two outs and then stole third. On the play, the throw was not noticed by Lucas at third and rolled into left field to allow Opachich to score easily.
The Seahawks took an 8-5 lead in the top of the fourth when Lucas hit a two run double and Boyd tallied an RBI single up the middle.
JU cut the deficit to 8-7 in the bottom of the fifth when Murphy drove in a run with a grounder to first and junior catcher hit an RBI single to left.
With one out Martinez hit a double to dead center before moving to third on a single to short by Lehane. In the next at-bat, Murphy pushed a sharp grounder to first which was knocked down and taken care of unassisted by Vin Avella, allowing Martinez to score. With Lehane on second, Swenson laced a single over the outstretched glove of Lucas at third base to plate another run.
The Dolphins took their first lead of the contest, 11-8, in the bottom the sixth when Opachich hit an RBI single, a run scored on a bases loaded balk and Murphy hit a two-run single through the left side.
Howick led off the inning with a triple of the left-center wall and then came into score on Opachich’s shot back up the middle. After Connelly and Gulbransen each drew a walk to load the bases, Wagner reliever David Rees was charged with a balk to drive in Opachich. With two outs, Lehane drew a walk to reload the bases before Murphy drove in two more with a single through the left side.
JU increased its lead to 14-8 in the bottom of the seventh when Connelly hit an RBI single to center and Gulbransen drove in two runs with a single up the middle.
Howick led off the inning with a walk and then advanced to second on a chop single to third by Opachich. Connelly followed with a line shot to center to plate Howick and move Opachich to third. After Connelly stole second, Gulbransen cleared the bases with his shot back up the middle.
The Dolphins would make it 18-8 in the bottom of the eighth when Howick hit an RBI single down the third-base line and junior pinch hitter Glen Johnson hit a three-run homer to right field.
JU will continue its homestand as the Dolphins host James Madison on Sunday at 1 p.m. The contest can be followed on ASun.TV on JUDolphins.com.