Feb. 23, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Senior center fielder Kevin Ferreira and junior catcher Jeremy Gillan powered the Dolphin offense while junior reliever Billy Schlee closed the door to lead the JU baseball team to a 7-4 win over Richmond, Saturday afternoon in the second day of the JU Invitational at John Sessions Stadium.
JU (2-0) scored six runs in the first four innings to provide a nice cushion for sophomore starter Carson Andrew. Andrew (1-0) notched his first win of the season after allowing three runs on six hits with six strikeouts and only one walk in 5.2 innings.
Schlee, a transfer from Kellog Community College, protected the lead by hurling 1.1 innings of shutout relief. Freshmen Steven Eagerton and Matt Loosen also combined to allow only one run (unearned) while scattering four hits in two innings of relief.
Richmond (1-1), which pounded out 23 runs on 21 hits a day earlier, had its bats cooled considerably while also committing six errors in the field.
"I knew the runs wouldn't be as plentiful today but we got some early and then we depended on our pitching staff," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "It was good to see some new guys step into a role for us because it is going to be a long year and everyone on the roster is going to have to contribute."
Jared Bard (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing six runs on five hits with four walks and three strikeouts in 3.1 innings of work.
Ferreira finished 3-for-4 on the day with three runs and a two-run homer, the first round tripper of his collegiate career. Gillan also finished 3-for-4 from the plate but knocked in a game-high three RBI. Senior designated hitter Matt Dobbins also finished with multiple hits on the day.
Austin Reilly led the Spider offense with a 3-for-5 effort from the plate while Hank Coogan and Evan Stehle also finished with multiple hits.
Richmond took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Cameron Brown laced a double down the left-field line. With a runner on second an only one out, Andrew got Ryan Metzroth to ground out to first and struck out Evan Stehle looking to end the inning.
JU took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first when Gillan tallied an RBI single and sophomore first baseman Alex Martinez drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Ferreira led off the inning with a single to left and then advanced to second on a balk by Bard. With runners on first and second, Gillan pulled ball through the left side to score Ferreira while junior Thomas Myers advanced to third on a throwing error by Stehle. Martinez followed with a drive to center to plate Myers.
The Dolphins made it 3-1 in the bottom of the third when Gillan hit a sacrifice fly to center. Junior left fielder Kyle Fleming led off the inning with a walk and then stole second. After advancing to third on a wild pitch by Bard, Gillan hit a drive to center to force the run home.
JU increased the margin to 6-1 in the bottom of the fourth when Ferreira hit a two-run homer and Gillan drove in a run with single. With one out, sophomore third baseman Tony Bernazard reached with a bunt single to third. Bernazard stole second and then advanced to third on an error by Reilly taking the throw on the play before Ferreira followed with a laser over the right center wall. After consecutive walks to Fleming and Myers and a double-steal, Gillan hit a ball into right to score Fleming.
The Spiders cut the deficit to 6-3 in the top of the sixth when Joe White and Ryan Grant followed tallied consecutive RBI singles.
The Dolphins increased the lead to 7-3 in the bottom of the sixth when Myers drove in a run with a groundout. Ferreira led off the inning with a single through the right side and then advanced to third on a throwing error by Stehle after stealing second base. With runners on second and third with one out, Myers hit a chopper to second to plate Ferreira.
Richmond cut the deficit to 7-4 in the top of the eighth when Reilly singled to right field with two outs. With runners on first and second, Schlee entered the contest and got Coogan to foul out to first to end the threat.
JU will complete the JU Invitational on Sunday at 3 p.m. against UNC Wilmington at John Sessions Stadium. The contest will be the first to be view live by ASun.TV on www.judolphins.com. Richmond and Wisconsin-Milwaukee will open the day at 11 a.m.