After its second straight A-Sun sweep, the JU baseball team (23-13, 13-5) will host conference leader No. 18 Stetson (29-7, 12-3) beginning on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
The series will conclude on Saturday with a doubleheader at 2 p.m.
JU leads SU in the all-time series, 75-72, including a series win by the Dolphins (2-1) in Deland before eliminating the Hatters with a 3-2 win in the second day of the 2010 A-Sun Tournament.
Stetson is currently ranked in all four major polls: Baseball America (18), Collegiate Baseball (21), USA Today/ESPN (25) and NCBWA (30).
JU is receiving votes in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBW) Top-30 Poll for the second straight week.
The contests can be followed on 1010XL with Joel Lamp calling all of the action. Fans can also follow through ASun.TV and live stats by logging on to JUDolphins.com.
With the sweep over Campbell, JU swept back-to-back conference weekends for the first time since 2008 (Gardner-Webb & Belmont)...JU recorded its only mid-week victory (1-7) with a 4-2 win over Georgia Southern (3/29)...following a loss, the Dolphins are 10-3...JU has recorded two shutouts on the year, the most since 2008...the Dolphins are 22-6 during weekend play in 2011...JU is 8-1 on the year in doubleheaders...against Samford, JU earned its first season sweep over an opponent in a series longer that three games since B-CU (5-0) in 2004...the Dolphins are 2-8 in their last 10 games against ranked opponents, including a 0-3 mark in 2011.
JU Rallies For One Of Its Own
The JU men’s lacrosse team will be holding a fundraiser on Friday for team captain Corey Lovrich, who has been diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. The event will feature free pizza and live music starting at 4:30 p.m. at the sand volleyball courts near John Sessions Stadium.
The men’s lacrosse team will be selling t-shirts and wristbands and accepting donations with proceeds going to the Corey Lovrich Medical Fund, which will help the family cover medical costs. JU assistant coach Brad Hester’s band Annie in the Water will be performing before the Dolphins baseball team plays No. 18 Stetson at 6:30 p.m.
Fellow defenseman and Dolphins co-captain Jake Ziegler will then throw out the ceremonial first pitch in Lovrich’s honor. During the game, members of the lacrosse team and the JU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) will be available in the stadium to accept contributions for the fund.
“It’s going to be a great atmosphere and we’re hoping the entire JU family and surrounding community comes out and shows their support,” JU head coach Matt Kerwick said. “No contribution is too small. We’re all just hoping to help Corey and his family any way we can.”
Lovrich is a sophomore defender who started the first six games this season before his diagnoses. The Long Beach, N.Y. native was coming off a stellar freshman season in which he played in all 12 games, starting 11 after making a recovery from knee surgery. He collected 23 ground balls in his first season and caused 10 turnovers. For his on-field performance and off-field leadership, Kerwick named Lovrich a co-captain in November.
What A Weekend...
In their three-game series against Campbell last weekend, the Dolphins played nearly 11 hours of baseball to record the sweep.
In three games, the teams combined for 76 runs, 98 hits and 15 errors while both pitching staffs combined for 38 walks, 11 hit batsmen and 11 wild pitches.
And just to remind everyone how the week started, JU played Georgia Southern (4/12) in a contest that ran three hours and 11 minutes and featured 27 combined runs, 26 hits, six errrors, 14 walks, three hit batters and nine wild pitches.
Injuries Starting To Mount For Dolphins
Injuries are a part of baseball and every team goes through them as the season progresses.
In mid-April, the Dolphins’ fortunes were dealt a big blow with four starters being affected for the rest of the year.
Senior pitcher Chris Kaminski, the program’s closer the last three years and starter in 2011, is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury (4/1).
Freshman third baseman Taylor Ratliff, who served as the lead-off hitter, has been limited in the field and at the plate with a right shoulder injury (4/5). He will continue to serve as a pinch runner but his availabliity the rest of the year is undefined.
Junior pitcher Steve Eagerton, who leads the A-Sun with a 6-0 record, is out at least a few starts due to a concussion from a come-backer on April 8.
Walker Earns Weekly Honors
Sophomore first baseman Adam Brett Walker had a career week at the plate and is earning the dividends a the week after as he was named Atlantic Sun Conference “Player of the Week” and The College Baseball Foundation and Diamond Sports National All-Star Lineup.
In four games, Walker brought massive destruction to opposing pitching staff’s ERA by registering a .611 batting average (11-18) with four doubles, two home runs, 13 RBI, 21 total bases, a 1.167 slugging percentage and a .696 on-base percentage.
Against Georgia Southern, Walker went 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI to start out his week. In the first game against Campbell, he kept the water boiling by going 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI as JU rallied in the ninth for an 11-10 win. In game two of the series, he finished 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI as the Dolphins rallied for a 16-13 victory. In saving his best for last, Walker had a career day in the series finale by going 4-for-5 with three doubles and seven RBI.
Pickin Up Where He Left Off
Sophomore center fielder Dan Gulbransen enjoyed a tremendous freshman campaign, flirting with a .400 batting average and ended with several accolades.
After being named to the A-Sun All-Preseason Team, Gulbransen has not suffered a “sophomore slump” in 2011.
Through 36 games, Gulbransen is leading the squad with a .423 batting average, 44 runs, 33 walks and a .529 on-base percentage while ranking second in hits (58), RBI (36), slugging percentage (.650), total bases (89) and stolen bases (9).
Gulbransen, who currently leads the Atlantic Sun Conference in batting average, also ranks second in on-base percentage and walks and is third in slugging percentage.
Walker, Wisconsin Bomber
Sophomore right fielder/first baseman Adam Brett Walker enjoyed a tremendous freshman campaign, leading the team with 16 home runs, 58 RBI and a .635 slugging percentage and ended with several accolades.
After being named to the A-Sun All-Preseason Team, Walker has not skipped a beat.
Through 36 games, Walker leads the squad with nine home runs, 61 hits, 15 doubles, 51 RBI, 105 total bases, 44 runs and a .719 slugging percentage.
Walker currently leads the A-Sun in slugging percetage, total bases and RBI while also ranking second in batting average (.418), hits and doubles and third in on-base percentage (.497) and home runs.
He is already making his way into the career record books, tying Rick Scheetz (25, 1978-81) for 10th on the all-time home run list. Walker needs 20 RBI and 110 total bases to crack the top 10 all time, respectively.