Jacksonville Pours it on in Triumph Over East Tennessee St
Nate Ricci went 3-for-4 with a HR and three runs scored (Photo by Skip Tapp)
Nate Ricci went 3-for-4 with a HR and three runs scored (Photo by Skip Tapp)
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville poured out a season high 19 hits to earned a decisive 13-6 win over East Tennessee State to start a key Atlantic Sun Conference series on a rainy Thursday night at Sessions Stadium.

All nine starters had at least one in the game for the Dolphins (12-24; 7-9) which produced their highest scoring output and highest hit total against an A-Sun team since a 16-10 win over Campbell on April 16, 2011 that featured 21 JU hits.

“I was really proud of the way our guys carried over the energy we had from Tuesday’s game at Florida State,” said Head Coach Tim Montez. “The guys came out focused and answered back every time they (ETSU) pushed a run across.”

Sophomore Dylan Dillard (Kissimmee, Fla.) and senior Scott Schaub (Ocala, Fla.) each drove in three runs on three hits, while  Angelo Amendolare (Edgewater, Fla.) went 4-for-5 with a RBI and three runs scored out of the leadoff spot.

“Everyone did their job all the way around. The entire team was hitting well tonight and executing bunts,” said Dillard who gave the line-up a spark hitting out of the nine hole. “Taking it to the #5 team in the country for seven innings like we did on Tuesday really helps your confidence coming into a conference series like this.”

East Tennessee State (18-18; 7-6) struck first scoring three runs in the top of the third. Jacksonville was opportunistic in answering back with two runs in the bottom of the inning after taking advantage of a two-out error on a ground ball to third.

Sophomore Nate
Ricci (Madison, Wis.) tied it up with a solo home run to right to lead off the bottom of the fourth, his third of the season. Michael Babb (Jacksonville, Fla.) then gave the Dolphins the lead for good. Babb (2-for-4) followed Ricci with a triple then came into score on a bunt hit by Dillard.  

“That was huge for us to answer them back right away after they took the early lead,” said Ricci who was 3-for-4 with the RBI and three runs scored. “There have been a number of games this year when we have gotten down and not responded back right in that situation. To come out and get right back on the board really turned the momentum back on our side.”

The Jacksonville offense finally produced the big inning it had been waiting on all season in the fifth to put the game away. With the rain starting to pick up the Dolphins scored seven runs on six hits, including a triple and a double from Schaub to build an 11-3 lead that would be more than enough for Alex McRae (West Allis, Wis.) on the mound.  

McRae picked up his third win of the year after going 7.2 innings allowing five runs, four earned in nine hits with seven strikeouts.  

“I think the huge think for us is always saying positive,” added Ricci. “If we go out and play hard we can be as good as any team in this league.”

The three game series is scheduled to continue tomorrow at 6:30 pm followed by 2:00 pm on Saturday. On Friday the JU athletics department in partnership with Discount Travel will be giving away a free round-trip flight for two people to anywhere in the Continental United States.