FRIDAY, APRIL 27, 2012
Baseball loses in 12 innings to Mercer, 3-2
Despite recording 13 strikeouts, the JU baseball team fell to Mercer, 3-2 (12), Friday night in A-Sun action at John Sessions Stadium.
The Dolphins (14-29, 4-12) rallied to tie the game in the ninth and had bases-loaded with one out, but failed to score the winning run. JU stranded a runner in scoring position in the next two frames before the Bears (27-18, 8-11) benefited from an error in the 12th inning to plate the winning run.
“We missed our chances,” JU head coach Terry Alexander said. “We didn’t get the big hit tonight in key situations. Hopefully, we can shake this off and take better advantage of our opportunities tomorrow.”
Trailing 2-1 in the ninth inning, senior Jonathan Murphy led off with a double for the Dolphins. Murphy moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, while junior Adam Brett Walker II scored him in the next at-bat on a single to tie the game. Junior Dan Gulbransen singled and junior Jake Huxtable was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Jacob Matthews retired the next two hitters to force extra innings.
The Dolphins had runners on the corners with one out in the 10th inning before a botched safety squeeze resulted in an out. Matthew got freshman Alex McRae to line out to quash the threat.
A two-out single by junior Ethan Loosen pushed a runner to second base for JU in the 11th inning, but Mercer reliever and eventual winning pitcher Eric Nyquist induced a ground out to keep the game going.
Senior Sean Green allowed a one-out single to Nate Moorhouse in the 12th inning. After a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner, the Dolphins misplayed a ground ball by Chesny Young which allowed Moorhouse to score the decisive run.
Nyquist (2-0) closed the door with a perfect bottom of the 12th inning to finally secure the win. Nyquist struck out three in two relief innings. Brandon Love allowed a run on eight hits and five strikeouts in 6.2 innings for the no-decision.
Despite tossing four good relief innings, Green (0-4) was tagged with the loss by surrendering the unearned run in the 12th inning. Sophomore Chris Anderson fanned a career-high 10 batters and allowed two runs on nine hits in seven innings. Sophomore Will Flor fanned two in an inning of relief.
Walker II, Murphy and senior Chris Moye each finished with three hits for JU.
The Bears took an early 2-0 lead by scoring on a wild pitch in the fourth inning and a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. Gulbransen put JU on the board in the seventh inning with a two-out double to score Murphy. The Dolphins stranded the bases loaded twice in the first four innings.
Due to the extra inning affair, the teams have moved Saturday’s game two of the series to 2 p.m. Fans can follow the action through the live links on JUDolphins.com