March 9, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Senior Matt Dobbins threw another gem, junior closer Billy Schlee tallied his fourth save and the Dolphins came up with some big hits late as the JU baseball team completed its first sweep over Belmont with a 3-0 win, Sunday afternoon at John Sessions Stadium.
JU (10-1, 6-0) is off to its best start since going 13-1 in 1997 and have matched its best start to conference play after going 6-0 during the 1991 season. The Dolphins opened the 2008 conference season with its first sweep over Gardner-Webb at Varsity Field.
Belmont (4-7, 1-5), which suffered its fifth consecutive loss in A-Sun play, were swept in a series against the Dolphins for the first time in program history.
"After our offense carried us through the weekend, our pitching staff came up big for us today," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "Matt was at his best and Billy did a great job of closing things out. I'm proud of the start we have jumped out to and it's extremely important due to the level of competition in the Atlantic Sun."
Dobbins (2-0) earned the win after allowing no runs while scattering five hits with one walk and three strikeouts in seven innings of work. It was the second start this season in which Dobbins had not allowed a run. Schlee notched his fourth save of the year after hurling two innings of scoreless relief.
Brian Kelley (0-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing three runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts in 6.2 innings.
JU, which extended its first inning scoring streak to 11 games, took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when junior third baseman Dan Maier hit a RBI single with two outs. Senior center fielder Kevin Ferreira led off the inning with a single to first and then stole second. With two outs, Maier hit a 0-1 pitch into center to plate Ferreira.
Dobbins pitched his way out of a jam in the top of the fifth with the bases loaded and two outs. With Daniel Wagner at the plate, Dobbins got him to roll over on a 1-1 pitch for a force out at second to end the inning.
Schlee dodged his own jam in the top of the eighth with a runner on second and no outs in the inning. After a leadoff error and a balk put Matt Zeblo on second base, Schlee retired three straight batters to keep the shutout intact.
JU will continue its home stretch with a two-game series against Florida International beginning on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. The contest can be seen liven through ASun.TV on JUDolphins.com.