March 29, 2008
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The Dolphin bats went silent in game one of while the Spartans rallied for a run in the bottom of the ninth to take the second game as the JU baseball team dropped a doubleheader to USC Upstate, 4-0 and 5-4, after an hour rain delay, Saturday at Harley Park.
JU (15-10, 8-7) were shut out for the second time this season in game one but rallied in the ninth inning for the second time in the series, before ultimately falling prey to Upstate's own heroics in the bottom of the inning.
Upstate (14-14, 9-6) takes hold of second place in the A-Sun standings despite suffering a heart breaking loss in game one of the series on Friday night.
"Our bats went silent in the first game and we couldn't put things away in the second game," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "This is a tough loss for us because it was an emotional battle between two good teams from start to finish. We have a long trip home and a couple of tough non-conference game this week, but at least we will be playing at home."
In game two, JU took a 3-1 lead in the top of the third when junior catcher Jeremy Gillan hit a two-run single to center with two outs. Upstate rallied for a run in the fifth and two runs in the sixth to take a 5-3 lead which held until the ninth.
The Spartans got the lead off runner on with a fielding error by the Dolphins and then advanced the runner to second on a sacrifice bunt. With one out, Kyle Simpson dropped in a single to left and Keith Bisgounis scored on the play at the plate to give Upstate the series win.
Senior center fielder Kevin Ferreira led the Dolphins offensively by going 2-for-4 to extend his career-high hitting streak to 19 games. Junior left fielder Kyle Fleming also finished with multiple hits for the Dolphins.
Freshman Sean Green (1-2) was saddled with the loss after allowing a run on one hit with three strikeouts in three innings of work.
Tyler Oliver (1-1) got the win after allowing one run on one hit with a walk and three strikeouts in two innings of relief.
In game one, JU managed eight hits but stranded eight runners as Upstate's Matt Branham (3-2) hurled eight scoreless innings in which he did not allow a walk and struck out six Dolphins.
Senior Matt Dobbins (3-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts in six innings of work. Sophomore Glenn Witkowski came out of the bullpen to hurl two innings of shutout relief.
Ferreira led the Dolphins offensively by going 2-for-4 while Eric Guillen, Casey Rivers and Jimmy Tanner each finished with multiple hits for the Spartans.
JU will next host Florida A&M on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at John Sessions Stadium. The contest can be seen live on ASun.TV and followed through GameTracker on JUDolphins.com.