SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 2012
Baseball loses late to Mercer, 8-5
Mother Nature and errors played a factor in the JU baseball team’s 8-5 loss to Mercer in A-Sun action Sunday at John Sessions Stadium.
The game was tied at five in the ninth inning with two outs and two Bears’ (29-18, 10-11) runners on base when pinch hitter Jamie McMillan launched a routine fly ball to left field. The Dolphins (14-31, 4-14) lost the ball in the afternoon sun, allowing both Mercer runners to score for the 7-5 lead. The Bears scored pinch runner Kelcey Butts from second in the next at-bat, while Eric Nyquist pitched a perfect ninth to secure the win.
“We didn’t play our best today,” JU head coach Terry Alexander said. “If we were a little sharper in the middle innings then that situation in the ninth inning would not have meant the ball game. We need to find a way to play solid for the whole game if we want to get the victory.”
David Teasley (5-0) allowed a run on two hits and three strikeouts in 2.1 relief innings for the win. Nyquist earned his first save of the season with his 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Sophomore Jimmy Appleby (2-3) took the hard luck loss after getting tagged with all the runs in the ninth inning. Sophomore Will Flor pitched season-high 3.1 scoreless relief frames, while junior Drew Woods allowed five runs, one earned, on five hits and three hits in 4.2 innings.
Austin Barrett recorded multiple hits for the third straight day to pace the Bears offense. Derrick Workman also finished with two hits.
Senior Matt Frank recorded three hits and threw out two runners for the Dolphins. Senior Jonathan Murphy and sophomore Chris Anderson each finished with two hits.
The Dolphins took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when sophomore Chris Moye used a two-out single to right field to score junior Ethan Loosen.
Murphy led off the third inning with a single and advanced to second on a ground out in the next at-bat. Junior Adam Brett Walker II took an intentional walk before he joined Murphy on a successful double steal. Anderson beat out an infield single in the next at-bat to score Murphy for the 2-0 lead. Junior Jake Huxtable followed a sacrifice fly to score Walker for the 3-0 advantage.
After scoring a run in the fourth inning, the Bears opened the fifth with a Workman single. Nate Moorhouse had a sacrifice bunt attempt in the next at-bat, but the Dolphins overthrew the ball at second allowing both runners to reach base. Woods got a line out, but walked Evan Boyd to load the bases. Chensy Young hit a sacrifice fly to score a run and it was deep enough to move the other two runners up a base. The Dolphins committed a throwing error on the next play that scored another run and tied the game at three. Barrett cleared the bases with a two-run single to give the Bears a 5-3 advantage. Flor came in and got a fly out on his first pitch to end the inning.
The Dolphins made it a 5-4 deficit in the bottom of the inning after Walker scored on Loosen’s two-out double. Gulbransen tied the game with a one-out home run in the eighth inning, but Teasley struck out the next two JU hitters to quash the comeback.
JU is set to host No. 1 Florida State for its final home non-conference game Wednesday in John Sessions Stadium. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.