TUESDAY, MAY 03, 2011
Baseball hosts #6 Florida State on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
After winning another A-Sun series, the JU baseball team (26-16) will host No. 6 Florida State (31-11) on Tuesday at John Sessions Stadium in the final game of the 2011 season series. JU trails FSU in the all-time series, 37-116, which includes a 5-3 loss to the Seminoles on Feb. 22 at Dick Howser Stadium. The contest can be heard live on 1010XL with Joel Lamp calling all of the action or through ASun.TV and live stats on JUDolphins.com.
The Bermuda Triangle Most people associate the Bermuda Triangle with the disappearance of ships and planes in a certain area of the Western part of the North Atlantic Ocean. But in 2011, the same can be said for opposing pitchers who face JU in the eighth inning. Through 42 games, the Dolphins have done their most damage in the eighth inning by scoring 59 of its 334 runs (an average of 1.4 rpi). As a team in the eighth inning, JU is hitting .368 (70-190) with 13 doubles, two triples, three home runs and a .505 slugging percentage. In the month of April alone, the Dolphins have won three games due to eighth inning alone: Campbell (4/16) - JU trailed 13-7 but nine runs on seven hits and two Camel errors paved the way for a 16-13 win. #18 Stetson (4/23) - JU and Stetson were even, 4-4, through seven but six runs on six hits and one Hatter error proved to be the diffference in a 10-4 win. FGCU (4/29) - JU trailed 7-5 but five runs on five hits and two Eagles’ errors led to a 10-7 victory.
Tomshaw Earns A-Sun Weekly Honor Senior Matthew Tomshaw was the ultimate "Ace in the Hole" for the Dolphins as his first career complete-game shutout in the rubber game against FGCU gave JU another series win en route to A-Sun “Pitcher of the Week” honors. After stealing the opener from the Eagles, JU dropped game two and needed a strong effort to save its bullpen on Sunday. Tomshaw did all that and more as he scattered three hits and walked only one batter while striking out five in a 6-0 win. Tomshaw became the first Dolphin to accomplish the feat in a full nine-inning game since Dennis Robinson shut out Campbell, 8-0, on April 16, 2004. The last complete-game shutout was Matt Gardner, who blanked Mercer (5-0) in seven innings on March, 31, 2007. It also marked the third shutout for JU this season, its most since 2004. Last season, he earned second all-conference accolades after going 8-2 with a 4.99 ERA and three complete games (the most since Robinson in 2004). This year, he is 5-3 with a 3.91 ERA.
Health Starting To Improve 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 affected. But, recently, some of those players are making their way back into the lineup. Junior shortstop Jimmy Howick, who had started 28 games, was limited in the field due to an elbow injury (4/6). He was used as a DH and pinch hitter until returning to the lineup at short against Campbell (4/16). 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 made his way back into the starting lineup at third base in the doubleheader against No. 18 Stetson (4/23). Junior pitcher Steve Eagerton, who led the A-Sun with a 6-0 record, missed two starts due to a concussion from a come-backer on April 8. He earned a no-decision in his start at FGCU (4/29). Senior pitcher Chris Kaminski, the program’s closer the last three years and starter in 2011, is still out indefinitely with a shoulder injury (4/1).
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 42 games, Walker leads the squad with nine home runs, 70 hits, 18 doubles, 58 RBI, 119 total bases, and a .704 slugging percentage. Walker currently leads the A-Sun in batting average, slugging percentage and doubles while also ranking second in hits, RBI, total bases and is third in on-base percentage. 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 17 RBI and 105 total bases to crack the top 10 all time, respectively.
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 42 games, Gulbransen is leading the squad with 53 runs, 35 walks and a .498 on-base percentage while ranking second in hits (64), slugging percentage (.601), doubles (15) and total bases (98). Gulbransen, had his career-high 23 game hitting streak end on April 30, currently ranks second in the A-Sun in batting average, on-base percentage, runs and walks.
“Hot Corner” Lehane Has JU On A Roll Junior Kevin Lehane had a rollercoaster season in 2010 that ended with him missing 41 games with a hamstring injury. Prior to the bad hammy, Lehane was one of the hotter bats in the JU lineup with a .350 average in 40 at-bats. Now at full strength, Lehane has established residency at third base and has shored up the left side of the infield - JU is 8-3 in his 11 starts at the “Hot Corner.” In 41 games, Lehane is fourth on the squad with a .327 batting average, is second with six home runs an thrid with seven doubles and 30 RBI.
Murphy’s Law Junior Jonathan Murphy has been another catalyst for the Dolphins at the top of the order in 2011. Due to his ability to get on base, he is third on the squad in runs scored. Through 42 games, he is fifth on the squad with a .321 batting average and is fourth with nine stolen bases. He currently leads the squad with three triples and ranks third with 48 runs, 61 hits and seven doubles. He also became the first Dolphins to tally five hits (5-for-6 at Belmont - 4/2) since Chuck Opachich accomplished the feat against Stetson on April 20, 2007.
JU Inks Top JC Pitcher The JU baseball team made another big move in the recruiting movement by inking top junior college pitcher Wes Torrez to a National Letter of Intent during the spring signing period. Torrez, a 6-foot-5, 215-pound sophomore at Johnson Community College in Overland Park, Mo., is currently 5-4 with a 3.22 ERA in 11 starts while also logging two complete games and 40 strikeouts in 63 innings after transferring from High Point University. He is the son of former major league pitcher, Mike Torrez, who pitched 17 major leagues seasons (1967-84) and was a member of the New York Yankees’ 1977 World Series squad. JU is not new to Major League offspring appearing on its roster as the Dolphins have featured Anthony Bernazard (Tony Bernazard - 10 MLB seasons) and Glen Johnson (Howard “Hojo” Johnson - 14 MLB seasons) in the last five years.