SUNDAY, MARCH 25, 2012
Baseball splits doubleheader with Kennesaw State
Sophomore Taylor Ratliff had the game-winning double in game two Play Video
Sophomore Taylor Ratliff had the game-winning double in game two
A walk-off double from sophomore Taylor Ratliff lifted the JU baseball team past Kennesaw State, 8-7 (7), in game two of an Atlantic Sun Conference doubleheader Sunday at John Sessions Stadium.

The teams exchanged the lead three times before Ratliff’s two-out double in the seventh inning plated junior Ethan Loosen to help the Dolphins (11-14, 1-2 A-Sun) end the weekend on a high note.

The Owls (14-10, 4-2) scored nine unanswered runs on 17 hits to take a 10-3 win in the first game.

“This is a good way to end the weekend,” JU head coach Terry Alexander said. “Kennesaw State is a very good team and our team kept battling until they were able to get some success in the end. We will need to build on some of this momentum because we have a tough week ahead of us.”

Sophomore Chris Anderson (3-1) earned the win in relief of game two, scattering two hits and fanning three batters in 1.1 innings. He also went 2-for-4 with three RBI and a double to help the cause.

Andrew Austin (0-2) took the loss after surrendering two runs on four hits in 1.1 relief innings.

Owls’ game one starter Steve Janas (2-1) struck out six batters and allowed three runs on seven hits in seven innings to get the win. Freshman Alex McRae allowed five runs on 10 hits in 3.2 innings for the loss. In all, the teams combined to use 20 pitchers during the doubleheader.

Offensively, Loosen finished with five total hits between the two games. Anderson also had two hits in the first game as well. Aaron Dobbs went 4-for-6 for the Owls in game one before finishing with two RBI in the second game.

In game two, the Dolphins built a 4-1 lead on a two-run double from Anderson in the third inning and a leadoff homer by Loosen in the fourth.

Max Pentecost recorded a one-out single in the Owls’ fifth inning, while Jacob Bruce followed with a walk. Dobbs tripled to right-center field off of JU starter Drew Woods, scoring Pentecost and Bruce. He later scored on a fielder’s choice hit to tie the game at four all.

The Owls took a 5-4 edge in the sixth inning on a Bruce two-out double to center field.

In the JU sixth inning, Loosen led off with a single to left field. After a pop out, Ratliff pushed Loosen to third with a single down the right field line. Loosen scored in the next at-bat on a wild pitch, while junior Dan Gulbransen advanced Ratliff to third on an infield single. Anderson followed with a single to left field to score Ratliff for the 6-5 lead. The Owls intentionally walked junior Adam Brett Walker II, but paid for it as junior Jake Huxtable doubled to plate Anderson for the 7-5 advantage.

Anderson got the first two outs in the seventh before allowing a double to Chris McGowan. Andrew Chriscaden followed with a home run to left field, tying the contest again at seven all.

Loosen led off the JU seventh with a single and advanced to second on a McRae sacrifice bunt. Austin struck out the next batter before allowing the game-winning double to Ratliff.

In game one, the Dolphins tied the contest at 1-1 in the second inning on a two-out single by Huxtable to score Loosen.

The Owls had three straight one-out singles in the fourth inning to break the tie. JU got a struck out the next batter, but Andy Almonte doubled home two runs in the following at-bat for a 4-1 lead. Ronnie Freeman added another double to score Almonte.

Gulbransen homered to center field with one out in the sixth inning. Walker II doubled in the next-bat and scored on an Anderson single to cut the deficit to 6-3.

It would be the closet the Dolphins came to the lead again as the Owls scored a run on a pass ball in the seventh inning and plated three runs with consecutive RBI hits in the eighth inning to secure the win.

The Dolphins close out a two-game set with College of Charleston Wednesday in Charleston, S.C. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.