After a tough series against Kennesaw State, the JU baseball team (22-21) will return to non-conference action with a home-and-home series with UCF beginning at Jay Bergman Field on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
The Dolphins and Knights will complete their series with a 6:30 p.m. contest on Wednesday at John Sessions Stadium.
JU leads UCF in the all-time series, 28-27, including a season sweep last year to give the Dolphins a three-game winning streak.
Tuesday’s contest can be heard live on 1010XL with Barry Milligan calling all of the action. Wednesaday’s game can be seen live on ASun.TV and both games can be followed on live stats by logging onto JUDolphins.com.
In the extra-inning loss to FSU, JU tallied 10 runs for the second straight game at Dick Howser Stadium for the first time in program history. The highest run tally in program history was 12 in 1973...with a 4-0 win over FIU, the Dolphins earned their first shutout since a 3-0 decision over Belmont on March 9, 2008 at John Sessions Stadium...the Dolphins are 15-1 on the year when scoring 10 or more runs...JU has a pair of four-game winning streaks on the year....the Dolphins are 4-14 on the year when not hitting a home runs as opposed to an 18-7 record with a home run...the Dolphins are 3-7 in their last 10 games against ranked opponents - including a 2-3 mark in 2010.
The “Southpaw Silencer”
Expected to be a complimentary point of the rotation in 2010, junior Matt Tomshaw has emerged as the stopper for the Dolphins with efficient consistency.
Showing improvement each season (6.38 ERA - Fr., 4.50 ERA - So.) as he progressed from the bullpen to starter, Tomshaw currently leads the squad with a 6-1 record and leads the staff with 64.1 innings.
He also notched his first complete-game victory over ETSU on April 10 in which he struck out eight batters. Tomshaw recorded his second complete-game win against Kennesaw State on May 8.
With his two complete games on the season, he becomes the first Dolphin to accompish the feat since Dennis Robinson (7), Donald Brickle (2) and Kyle DeVries (2) during the 2004 season.
Who is “Freshman of the Year”?
Thus far in 2010, the Wisconsin freshman duo of Dan Gulbransen and Adam Brett Walker are making Dolphin fans contemplate Cheesehead gear despite the Jacksonville Jaguars living across the St. John’s River.
The initial thought process for the JU coaching staff was to bring the duo along slowly to get them used to the college game. Instead of battling for playing time, the duo is battling for the title of Atlantic Sun Conference “Freshman of the Year.”
Gulbransen, a 5-foot-10, 205 pound, center fielder from Appleton, currently leads the squad with a .400 batting average, 62 hits, 44 runs, a .515 on-base percentage and 36 walks. He also ranks second with 44 RBI and eight home runs.
A four-year starter at Fox Valley Lutheran HS, Gulbransen finished his prep career with 126 hits and 26 home runs.
A four-time all-conference selection, he was named first team all-state and all-area while garnering Eastern Valley Conference “Player of the Year” honors.
Walker, a 6-foot-5, 225 pound, OF/DH from Milwaukee, leads JU with 13 home runs, 46 RBI, 101 total bases and a.669 slugging percentage while ranking fourth with a .331 batting average.
A three-year starter at Milwaukee Lutheran HS, Walker was named all-state, all-area and all-conference as a junior and senior. He played in the Brewer Classic at MIller Park and was an invitee to the 2009 Powerhouse Showcase Home Run Derby at Tropicana Field.
Sophomore third baseman Jimmy Howick has dazzled with his glove in the “hot corner” all season but his bat has done the talking lately.
Entering the May 8 doubleheader against Kennesaw State, Howick was batting .230 (29-126) with five doubles, two triples, 12 RBI and 38 total bases.
In the first game of the double-dip, Howick had a career day by going 3-for-4 with a double, two home runs and four RBI. He followed that effort by finishing 2-for-3 with a double.
In just two days, the third baseman has raised his average over 30 points to .256.