SUNDAY, APRIL 10, 2011
Baseball makes it a clean sweep with 6-5 win over Mercer in 10 innings
It took two rallies and another tremendous pitching performance by freshman Chris Anderson but the Dolphins finally cured their Sunday blues as the JU baseball team swept Mercer with a 6-5 win in 10 innings, Sunday afternoon at Claude Smith Field.
JU (20-12, 10-5) trailed 4-0 through six and 5-4 entering the ninth before scratching across a run in the ninth on a wild pitch with the bases loaded.
MER (22-13, 8-9) fell to 0-7 on the year in one-run contests after leaving a game-high 18 runners on base while striking out five times in the final three innings.
Anderson (2-1), who notched a save in each of the two wins to open the series, got the win after hurling three innings of shutout relief. Freshman Tony Mollica got the no-decision after allowing three runs on four hits with five walks and two strikeouts in four innings.
J.T. Odom (0-1) got the loss after allowing one run on two hits with two walks and a strikeout in one inning of relief. Justice French also go the no-decision after giving up four runs on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts in six innings.
“I’m not sure how we pulled it out but I’m proud of how we fought today,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “Chris was outstanding for us once again and it’s been fun to watch him take hold of the closer role. This was a big weekend for us and hopefully we have turned a corner.”
Junior third baseman Kevin Lehane, who made another charging play from the hot corner, led the Dolphins by going 3-for-5 with a double. Sophomore center fielder Dan Gulbrasen went 2-for-3 with aa double while sophomore first baseman Adam Brett Walker finished 2-for-5.
Thomas Carroll led the Bears by finishing 3-for-4 with a triple while D.J. Johnson went 3-for-6 with two doubles. John Moreland and Evan Boyd also finished with multiple hits.
After three scoreless innings, the Bears took 1-0 lead in the fourth when Boyd hit an RBI single to right with two outs.
MER increased the margin to 4-0 in the fifth when Moreland hit an RBI double to right center, Derrick Workman hit a sacrifice fly to center and Boyd hit an RBI double to right center.
The Dolphins evened the contest in the seventh when a run scored on a fielding error by Carroll in right field, senior catcher Alex Swenson hit a two-run single to right center and senior right fielder Esterlin Perozo hit an RBI single up the middle.
The Bears took a 5-4 lead in the eighth when Carroll hit an RBI single through the right side.
JU evened the contest in the ninth when junior designated hitter Jimmy Howick led off the frame with a double into the left field corner before scoring on a flare single to center by freshman shortstop Chris Moye.
MER seemed poised to win in the ninth when Johnson led off the inning with a double to left center and then advanced to third on the same play when the ball was overrun in the outfield. With the infield drawn in, Anderson got Boyd to strike out swining. After an intentional walk to Billy Burns, Anderson struck out Nate Morehouse swinging. After another intentional walk, this time to Jacob Tanis, Anderson struck out Carroll looking to end the inning.
JU took a 6-5 lead in the 10th when Gulbransen scored from third on a wild pitch by Baker. After drawing a walk to lead off the inning, Gulbransen reached third on a double down the left field line by Lehane. After an intentional walk to senior left fielder Chris Connelly, Barker’s 1-2 pitch to Howick sailed high off the glove of Barrett to allow a run to score.
The Dolphins will return to non-conference action on Tuesday as they travel to Georgia Southern at 6 p.m. The game can be followed through live stats by logging onto JUDolphins.com.