JU (12-11, 5-2) snapped its four-game losing streak, the longest since 2008, and increased it home record to 10-4 on the year.
Mercer (14-10, 2-2) finished with a game-high 12 hits but also left a game-high nine runners on base.
“It’s always important to win on your home field and we did that tonight,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “We’ve had a rough go of things on the road but tonight was a good start to the weekend for us. “
Loosen (2-1) earned the win after allowing five runs on nine hits while walking only one and striking out eight in six innings. Freshman Sean Kennedy held onto the lead for JU by hurling a perfect inning of relief. Kaminski closed things up by scattering three hits and striking out one in two innings.
Brandon Love (5-1) was tagged with his first loss of the season after allowing six runs on eight hits with three walks and a career-high 11 strikeouts in 6.1 innings.
Freshman center fielder Dan Gulbransen went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI to lead JU. Sophomore left fielder Jonathan Murphy finished 2-for-4 with a triple while sophomore third baseman Jimmy Howick went 2-for-4 with an RBI double.
Tyler McCarty finished 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI to lead the Bears while Billy Burns, Nick DiMauro and Joe Winker each finished with multiple hits.
JU took an early 1-0 lead in the first on a sacrifice fly by junior shortstop Jamaal Hawkins but the Bears would answer back with a run in the second on an RBI double by Winker.
The Dolphins make it 2-1 in the bottom of the second when freshman right fielder Adam Brett Walker hit his team-leading eighth home run of the season. JU added another run in the fourth with Howick’s RBI double before Gulbransen’s three-run shot in the fifth made it 6-1.
The Bears would answer back again in the sixth by scoring four runs on four hits while taking advantage of a Dolphin throwing error, to cut the deficit to 6-5.
JU added an insurance run in the eighth when junior designated hitter Glen Johnson laced a double down the left-field line.
The Bears would threaten with runners on first and second with no outs in the ninth but Kaminski got Thomas Carroll to ground into a double-play and Michael Langley to foul out down the right-field line to end it.
The Dolphins and Bears will conclude the series with a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. Game one can be heard live on 1010XL with Barry Milligan calling all of the action and J.P. Shadrick providing color analysis. Both games can also be viewed through Live Stats or on ASun.TV by logging onto JUDolphins.com.