JU (14-13, 6-4) won for only the third time on the road after tallying 19 hits (10 for extra bases) and getting a dominating performance by junior Matt Loosen.
Upstate (9-20, 1-9) managed only six hits in the contest while committing four errors and leaving a game-high nine runners on base.
“This is a big series for us and I’m happy with how we started,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “We have been in this situation before so I want to see us continue to play at the level we are capable of with consistency.”
Loosen (3-1) earned the win after allowing only one run while scattering four hits and striking out 10 batters in six innings of work. Sophomore Clay Kollenbaum notched his second save after logging the final
Philip Brannon (1-5) was tagged with the loss after allowing eight runs (two earned) on 12 hits while striking out five in six innings.
Freshman designated hitter Adam Brett Walker went 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and three RBI while fellow Wisconsin freshman Dan Gulbransen finished 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI. Senior first baseman Alex Martinez also went 3-for-5 with a double to also lead the Dolphins.
Blake Green finished 2-for-4 with two RBI to lead the Spartans.
JU jumped out of the gates quickly by putting up four runs in the first inning when junior shortstop Jamaal Hawkins hit an RBI double, Gulbransen hit a two-run homer and junior right fielder Esterlin Perozo hit an RBI single.
With one out, junior left fielder Jonathan Murphy reached safely when first baseman Austin Moyer dropped a throw from shortstop Brody Greer. In the next at-bat, Hawkins laced a ball into the left field corner to score Murphy. With two outs, Gulbransen crushed the first pitch he saw over the right center wall. After Walker reached on a passed ball strikeout and stole second, Perozo laced a single to center to score another run.
JU increased the margin to 7-0 in the second when Hawkins hit an RBI single, Gulbransen hit an RBI single and a run scored on a fielding error.
Howick led off the inning with a single through the left side. After back-to-back fielder’s choices to second, Murphy stole second base. Hawkins beat out a single to short which allowed Murphy to score from second on the play. In the next at-bat, Martinez hit a sharp single to center to move Hawkins to second. Gulbransen followed with a single to center to drive in Hawkins but the ball got past Green in center field to allow Martinez to score.
Loosen gave up his first hit in the fourth and had runners on first and third with no outs but struck out Austin Moyer and Trey Richardson looking before getting Brian Dempsey to force out to short to end the inning.
The Dolphins made it 8-0 in the fifth when Perozo hit an RBI double through the right side.
Martinez led off the inning with a double to left center but was picked off at second when Gulbransen’s check swing was caught by Brannon. Walker followed with a single through the right side and then stole second. In the next at-bat, Perozo hit a chopper through the right side and hustled for a double to score Walker.
The Spartans got on the board in the bottom of the fifth when Green hit an RBI single to left. Upstate still threatened with the bases loaded and two outs but Loosen got Moyer to fly out to right to end the inning.
JU made it 9-1 in the seventh when Walker hit a solo home run to dead center field with two outs.
The Spartans cut the deficit to 9-2 in the bottom of the seventh when Green hit an RBI single to center.
The Dolphins added another run in the eighth when Murphy hit a sacrifice fly to right after junior catcher Alex Swenson led off the inning with a double to right center.
Upstate made it 10-3 in the bottom of the eighth when Gaither Bumgardener hit an RBI triple into the right field corner.
JU would add six more runs in the ninth when Walker hit a two-run double down the left field line and junior pinch-hitter Glen Johnson hit a three-run double to right center and a run scored on a throwing error by Bumgardner at third.
JU and Upstate will complete its series with a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. Both games can be followed through Live Stats or GameTracker by logging onto JUDolphins.com.