by Tom LeonardMIAMI, Fla.- The Jacksonville University Dolphins (16-32, A-Sun 7-14) and the Florida International Panthers (23-26) squared off in game two of a midweek non-conference play from FIU Stadium.
The Dolphins took advantage of four FIU walks and a costly Panther error to jump out to a 3-0 lead. The Dolphins plated three runs without the benefit of a hit while sending eight men to the plate in the top half of the first.
The Dolphins battled out of a jam in the bottom half of the first when Brady North (Tampa, Fla./Hillsboro CC) made a diving stop to prevent an extra base hit that would have scored two runs easily.
The Dolphins kept the pressure on in the second. Zachary Houck (Orange Park, Fla./Eagles View Academy) led off with a bunt single and stole second base. Dylan Dillard (Kissimmee, Fla./Osceola) walked. Drew Luther (Fullerton, Calif./Fullerton College) then ripped a double inside the third base bag scoring both runners easily. Ethan Loosen (Uniondale, N.Y./FSCJ) followed with a deep fly out to center advancing Luther to third. Brady North (Tampa, Fla./Hillsboro CC) then ripped an RBI single to right to make it 6-0. Braddock Rowe (Jacksonville, Fla./South Georgia College) and Jake Huxtable (Winter Springs, Fla./Santa Fe College) followed with singles but were stranded with the bases loaded ending the inning.
The Dolphins were at it again in the top of the fourth. Rowe was hit by a pitch. Huxtable singled to right and Michael Babb (Jacksonville, Fla./Bartram Trail) reached on an infield single loading the bases. Scott Schaub (Ocala, Fla./College of Central Florida) lifted a sacrifice fly to right scoring Rowe from third and making it 7-0 Dolphins.
The hits kept coming for the Dolphins in the fifth. Loosen reached on a two out double and scored on North’s eighth homerun of the season. The mammoth blast deep into the nature preserve in right made it 9-0 Dolphins.
The Dolphins were not done, adding a pair of runs in the top of the seventh. Luther was hit by a pitch. Loosen followed with a double to right. North then walked loading the bases for Huxtable. Huxtable then ripped a ball off the glove of the Panther’s second baseman scoring two runs making it 11-0.
The Dolphins closed out the scoring in the top of the ninth. North doubled and scored on an RBI single by Babb to make it 12-0. The Dolphins sent junior Will Flor (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson) to the hill looking to keep the momentum from Tuesday nights win. Flor went 2 1/3 innings allowing no runs on two hits while striking out one before being replaced on a pitch count in the third. The Dolphins bullpen was spectacular on the day. Zach Gordon (St. Petersburg, Fla./St. Petersburg College), Wes Torrez (Naperville, Ill./Johnson County CC), Josh Baker (Sussex, Wis./University School) and Jeff Tanner (Jacksonville, Fla./Episcopal) combined to go 6 2/3 shutout innings to preserve the win for Flor (1-0).
The Dolphins will be back in action on Friday at 7pm from John Sessions Stadium as the Lipscomb Bison come to town for a crucial Atlantic Sun series. You can follow all the action on www.judolphins.com