Baseball bounces back with 12-6 win over USF
Junior Chris Kaminski
Junior Chris Kaminski
The Dolphins showed their meddle on this day as junior Chris Kaminski hurled 2.1 innings for a save while the offense scored six unanswered runs in the final three innings as the JU baseball team earned a spit with USF with a 12-6 win, Wednesday afternoon at Red McEwen Field.

JU (7-6) led 6-2 through five innings but USF (3-10) scored four in the sixth to even things up (6-6). From there, the Dolphins would score two in the seventh and four in the ninth while Kaminski defused a bases loaded situation in the seventh.

“We needed to come back strong today and I’m proud of how we battle back when we had some adversity,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “There were some scary moments for us but we got through it as a team. Now we can get a day of rest before we open conference against a very tough Belmont squad.”

Senior Brian Gilroy (2-0) got the win after hurling 0.2 innings of scoreless relief while Kaminski notched his second save by allowing only one hit while striking out five in the final 2.2 innings.

Senior Glenn Witkowski, who was in line for the win, earned the no-decision despite allowing only two runs on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts in five innings.

Joe Cole (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing two runs on four hits with two strikeouts in an inning of relief. Andrew Salgueiro also earned the no-decision after allowing five runs (two earned) on six hits with a walk and six strikeouts in five innings.

Junior shortstop Jamaal Hawkins led the Dolphins by going 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI, including a two-run double in the seventh to put JU up for good. Freshman center fielder Dan Gulbransen, junior catcher Alex Swenson and junior second baseman Glen Johnson each finished with multiple hits.

Stephen Hunt led the Bulls by going 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.

JU took a 2-0 lead in the first when sophomore designated hitter Kevin Lehane hit an RBI double. Junior shortstop Jamaal Hawkins was hit by the first pitch of the game and then reached second safely when Bulls second baseman misplayed a routine double-play ball of the bat of Gulbransen. With two outs, Lehane pulled a pitch down the third-base line to clear the bases.

The Dolphins increased the lead to 3-0 in the second by taking advantage of another miscue by the Bulls. Swenson drew a walk to lead off the inning and then moved to second when Johnson was hit by a pitch. In the next at-bat, sophomore third baseman Jimmy Howick attempted a sacrifice bunt but it went directly back to the mound. Salgueiro caught it cleanly but his throw to third went wild allowing Swenson to score.

The Bulls cut the margin to 3-1 in the bottom of the second when Stephen Hunt hit an RBI double to left center with one out. USF still threatened with runners on first and second but Witkowski with two outs but got Chad Taylor to pop out to the mound to end the inning.

USF made it 3-2 in the bottom of the third when Sam Mende hit a solo homer to left with two outs.

JU increased the lead to 5-2 in the fifth when freshman right fielder Adam Brett Walker hit a two-run homer. Gulbransen led off the inning with a single to center and then advanced to second on a chop grounder to second. In the next at-bat, Walker crushed his third homer of the season over the right-center wall with two outs.

The Dolphins made it 6-2 in the sixth when a run scored on a wild pitch by Bulls reliever Kevin Quackenbush. Howick led off the inning with a walk and then proceeded to move to every base on three wild pitches by Quackenbush.

The Bulls evened up the contest, 6-6, in the bottom of the sixth without recording a hit as USF plated four runs on four hits batsmen and three walks in the inning.

JU battled back to take an 8-6 lead in the seventh when Hawkins hits a two-run double with two outs. With one out, Swenson singled to right field and then advance to second when Johnson beat out a bunt towards the mound with a slide into first base. With two outs, Hawkins laced a single into the left-field corner to clear the bases.

The Bulls threatened in the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded and only one out but Kaminski entered the contest and got pinch hitter Jimmy Falla to strike out swinging and Junior Carlin to ground out to second to end the inning.

The Dolphins increased the lead to 12-6 in the ninth when Hawkins and Gulbransen each hit an RBI single and senior first baseman Alex Martinez hit an RBI double.

The Dolphins will return home to open A-Sun play this weekend against Belmont beginning on Friday at 6:30 p.m.