Baseball out lasts Florida A&M, 5-3

April 1, 2008

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Freshman right fielder Chris Connelly went 2-for-4 with two RBI while the Dolphin pitching staff got out of some tight jams to lead the JU baseball team to a 5-3 victory over Florida A&M on Tuesday night at John Sessions Stadium.

The Dolphins (16-10) snapped a two-game slide behind a strong pitching performance senior Matt Davis, who was making his third start of the season. The Rattlers (6-14) out hit the Dolphins, 10-9, but left nine runners on base including a base-loaded situation in the fifth and two other innings with runners in scoring position.

"We were fortunate tonight," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "There were several situations that could have gone differently and made for a different outcome. I'm glad we found a way to win, but we are going to have to be much better tomorrow against Florida State."

Freshman Matt Loosen (4-0) secured the win for JU in relief after allowing one unearned run on a hit and fanning three batters. Sophomore Glenn Witkowski also had an unearned run in two innings of relief, while Davis allowed one run on six hits and struck out four in five innings of work to get the no-decision.

Florida A&M reliever Juilan Bailey (1-2) was tagged with the loss, giving up two runs on five hits in 2.1 innings. Drew Cook took the no-decision after surrendering three runs (one earned) on four hits and six walks in 5.2 innings.

Along with Connelly, sophomore Alex Martinez also had two hits on the evening, while freshman Glen Johnson added a double and the go-head RBI hit in the eighth inning. Senior center fielder Kevin Ferreira's career-best 19-game hitting streak came to an end after he finished 0-for-4 with a walk.

Steve Cunningham led FAMU's offense after finishing 2-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored. Jared Jefferies, Tim Schalch and Chris Justin also finished with multiple hits.

The Dolphins scratched across a run in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead when Schalch bobbled a ground ball by Connelly allowing Jeremy Gillan to score.

In the third inning, Cunningham reached second to start things off after Glen Johnson fielded a hard hit grounder but overthrew first base when he gathered himself. Justin followed with a single to left field to score Cunningham and even the game at one apiece.

Johnson made up for his throwing mistake in the fifth inning with a two-out double to right field for the Dolphins. Connelly plated Johnson on the next at-bat with a single to left field to the Dolphins a 2-1 advantage.

The Dolphins made it 3-1 in the sixth inning when Martinez scored on an errant throw on a pickoff attempt at third by Justin.

The Rattlers cut the deficit to a run in the seventh inning after Jared Jefferies drove home Cunningham on a two-out single to left field off Witkowski. Schalch followed with single to move Jefferies and continue the rally.

Corey McFadden laced a single to center in the next at bat, but Ferreira threw out Schlach at third before Jefferies could score to tie game and quash the Florida A&M rally.

Florida A&M first baseman Tim Jones was hit by a pitch by Loosen, while Daryl Evans reached in the next at-bat on Johnson's second error of the game to start the eighth inning. After a fielder's choice put runners on the corners, Loosen struck Thaddous McBurrows to put two away in the inning. Unfortunately, Cunningham drove a ball through the right side to plate Jones and tie the game at three all.

The Dolphins put together three consecutive singles after a lead off fly out to load the bases in the bottom of the eighth inning. Johnson plated Kyle Fleming in the next at-bat with a sacrifice fly to left field to give JU a 4-3 lead. Connelly followed with a single through the left side to score Gillan and give JU a two-run cushion.

After running into trouble in the eighth inning, Loosen retired the side in the ninth inning to secure the victory for the Dolphins.

The Dolphins continue their home stand tomorrow as they take No. 2 Florida State beginning at 6 p.m. Fans can hear the game locally on ESPN 1460 starting at 5:45 p.m. with the Bono's pregame show or watch it live online on ASun.TV through JUDolphins.com. Fans can also follow the stats online with gametracker on judolphins.com as well.