Baseball opens nine-game home stand Friday with Wagner
Home sweet home is an understatement for the JU baseball team as it begins a nine-game homes stand at John Sessions Stadium with Wagner Friday.

First pitch for the three-game series is set for 6:30 p.m. They will play Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Dolphins (5-7) will host Akron for a two-game set starting March 13 before ending the stand against Western Carolina and Farfield in the Wingate by Wyndham Invitational on March 16.

“It will nice to be in our familiar setting these two weeks,” JU head Terry Alexander said. “We have a lot of games in a short amount of time, but it gives us an opportunity to build some momentum before A-Sun play. These three teams bring a lot to the table so our guys will need to be ready.”

Wednesday, the Dolphins secured Alexander’s 700th career win by downing USF, 9-2, in Tampa, Fla.

Senior Jonathan Murphy went 2-for-4 with a double, home run and four RBI in leading JU to its first midweek win of the season. Juniors Jake Huxtable and Adam Brett Walker II each recorded two RBI to help the cause.

Freshman Alex McRae (2-0) earned the win after getting to the seventh inning for the third time in his first four collegiate starts. He allowed an unearned run on five hits and four strikeouts.

The Seahawks (1-8) lost the final two games of a four-game series at Charlotte last weekend.

Chris Smith leads the Wagner offense with a .300 average (9-30), while Eddie Brown has a team-best eight RBI. Ryan Van Spronsen has the lone win for the pitching staff, allowing three runs on eight hits and two strikeouts in eight innings against Charlotte on March 3.

The Dolphins own a 6-1 lead in the all-times, including a three-game sweep last season at home. Wagner’s lone win came on March 13, 1992 (10-3).

Akron (1-8) will play Xavier, Pittsburgh and Seton Hall this weekend in Port Charlotte, Fla., before coming to Jacksonville.

Fairfield (4-6) is in a tournament in Winter Haven, Fla., for the weekend, while Western Carolina (10-3) opens the SoCon schedule against The Citadel and plays two non-conference games before the Wingate by Wyndham Invitational at JU.

The Dolphins own a 33-9 record against the Zips. The Catamounts won the two games against JU in 1993, while it will be the first meeting for the Dolphins against the Stags.

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