March 8, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Senior shortstop Matt Lopez went four-for-five with two RBI to lead a Dolphin offense which pounded out 14 runs on 15 hits as the JU baseball team defeated Belmont, Saturday afternoon in game two of a doubleheader at John Sessions Stadium.
JU (9-1, 5-0) scored 11 runs on 13 hits in the first six innings to claim the series win over the Bruins.
Belmont (4-6, 1-4) dropped its fourth consecutive conference game after committing a game-high five errors.
"We kept the pressure on offensively and that gave our pitchers room to work with," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "Hopefully we can keep this momentum going into the final game of the series tomorrow."
Sophomore Carson Andrew (3-0) earned the win after allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 5.2 innings. Freshman Steven Eagerton allowed one unearned run in 2.1 innings of relief and sophomore Glenn Witkowski hurled a perfect ninth to close out the game.
Josh Moffitt (0-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing eight runs (five earned) on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts 2.2 innings.
Junior left fielder Kyle Fleming finished 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI while senior center fielder Kevin Ferreira, senior first baseman Matt Dobbins, junior third baseman Dan Maier and freshman designated hitter Chris Connelly each tallied multiple hits.
Carlo Testa and Matt Zeblo each finished with multiple hits to lead the Bruins.
JU, which extended its first inning scoring streak to 10 games, took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Maier hit a RBI single with two outs. Senior center fielder Kevin Ferreira led off the game with a single to center and then advanced to second after Fleming drew a walk. With two outs, Maier hit a 3-2 pitch back up the middle to score Ferreira.
Belmont evened the contest, 1-1, in the top of the second when Mark Noth hit an RBI double down the third base line with two outs.
The Dolphins increased the lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the second when two runs scored on two consecutive errors by the Bruins. With one out, Connelly hit a single to left. Sophomore second baseman Tony Bernazard followed with a slow chopper to short but Packy Elkins misplayed the ball off his glove, allowing Connelly to move to third. As the center fielder picked up the ball and threw to third, Bernazard took off for second base. When Connelly slid in safely to third, Brandon McCall attempted to throw out Bernazard but the throw sailed into right field, allowing Connelly to score and Bernazard to move to third. Ferreira followed with a ground out to short to score Bernazard.
The Bruins evened the contest again, 3-3, in the top of the third when McCall and pinch hitter Bryan Taylor each tallied back-to-back sacrifice flies to right field.
JU increased the lead to 8-3 in the bottom of the third when Bernazard drew a bases loaded walk, Ferreira hit a two-run single to center and Fleming hit an RBI single to left field. After Maier reached first on a fielder's choice, sophomore catcher Brad Simmons and Lopez hit consecutive singles to load the bases. With two outs, Bernazard drew a walk to drive in Maier and then Ferreira laced a single to center to score Simmons and Lopez. After Ferreira stole second and reached third on a throwing error by catcher Matt Zeblo, Fleming poked a single to left to plate the final run of the inning.
The Dolphins increased the margin to 9-3 in the bottom of the fourth when Lopez hit an RBI single to right with two outs. After Simmons reached on a fielder's choice, he stole second before scoring from second on a single through the right side by Lopez.
JU made it 10-3 in the bottom of the fifth when Fleming hit an RBI double with two outs. Connelly led off the inning with a walk and then stole second base. After advancing to third on a ground out, Connelly scored when Fleming laced a pitch into the left-field corner.
The Bruins cut the deficit to 10-5 in the top of the sixth when Derek Hamblin hit a two-run single up the middle with two outs.
The Dolphins increased the lead to 11-5 in the bottom of the sixth when Lopez hit an RBI bunt single with one out. Dobbins led off the inning with a single through the right side before being substituted by junior Stewart Kelly. After Kelly stole second and third base, Lopez placed a bunt up the first base line and beat out the defense to score Kelly.
Belmont cut the margin to 11-6 in the top of the seventh when Nate Woods hit a sacrifice fly to right field.
JU made it 14-6 in the bottom of the eighth when Maier hit a solo home run (his second of the doubleheader), Connelly hit an RBI single and Bernazard drove in a run with a grounder back to the mound.
JU and Belmont will complete its three-game series on Sunday at 1 p.m. at John Sessions Stadium. The contest can be seen liven through ASun.TV on JUDolphins.com.