FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2012
Baseball outlasts Northeastern in inaugural Roger Strickland Classic
A single in extra innings helped the JU baseball team defeat Northeastern, 7-6 (10), on Friday night in the inaugural Roger Strickland Classic at John Sessions Stadium.
The Dolphins (1-4) lost two leads, but a bases-loaded single by senior Jonathan Murphy helped JU hold off the Huskies (0-1) to get the victory in the first classic honoring the former two-time All-America honoree.
Murphy finished 3-for-5 with three RBI for JU, while junior Corben Madden (1-0) tossed a scoreless 10th inning to get the win in relief.
“We are happy to get in the win column,” JU head coach Terry Alexander said. “It was touch and go late in the game, but our guys found a way to win. We continue to hit well which will take the pressure off of some other areas.”
Junior Adam Brett Walker II hit a two-run homer in the first inning, while sophomore Jimmy Appleby and Dan Gulbransen each had RBI hits.
Sam Berg (0-1) took the loss in relief, allowing one run on two hits and two walks in 1.1 innings. John Puttress and Aaron Barbosa each recorded four hits for Northeastern.
Trailing 6-5 in the top of the ninth inning, Rob Fonseca reached on a fielding error. The Dolphins cut down the lead runner in the next at-bat on a fielder’s choice, but a throwing error allowed the hitter, Ricky Salvucci, to reach second. Puttress followed with a single to tie the contest. The Huskies got runners on second and third with one out, but an intentional walk helped set up a double play for the Dolphins.
The Dolphins got a runner on second with one out in the bottom of the ninth before Berg retired the next two batters to force extra innings.
After Madden’s scoreless 10th, the Dolphins opened with a single from sophomore Taylor Ratliff. He stole second and then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Alex McRae. An infield error allowed Gulbransen to reach first, while the Huskies elected to walk Walker II to load the bases and create a force out. Murphy followed with a line drive that the second basemen couldn’t handle to plate Ratliff for the walk-off win.
Juniors Ethan Loosen and Jake Huxtable each finished with two hits for JU. Fonseca had two RBI for the Huskies, while Matt Miller and Jason Vosler finished with multiple hits.
The Dolphins led initially on Walker’s two-run homer in the first inning before two sacrifice flies gave the Huskies a 3-2 lead until the sixth inning.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Huxtable singled and Ratliff walked to start the JU frame. After a sacrifice bunt by McRae to advance the runners, Gulbransen scored Ratliff with a sacrifice fly to right field. Walker II was walked and Murphy followed with a wind-aided double in shallow center field to score two more runs for the 6-3 advantage.
The Huskies scored two runs in the top of the seventh to cut the deficit to 7-6 before tying it in the final inning.
The Dolphins close out the series tomorrow with a doubleheader against Northeastern in John Session Stadium at 1 p.m.