April 26, 2008
DeLAND, Fla. - In the first six innings of the first game of a doubleheader against Stetson, the JU baseball team looked like it was on life support at the plate.
But nine runs on 10 hits in the seventh and eighth innings propelled the Dolphins back from a 4-0 deficit for a 9-6 win at Conrad Park.
Chuck Opachich's one-out single through the left side drove in Matt Lopez and Tony Bernazard to give the Dolphins' their first lead of the day - capping a six-run eighth inning in which JU pounded out seven hits.
The inning started when Kyle Fleming laced a ball down the left field line that caught the chalk, getting a leadoff double to start JU's rally. Five straight hits, capped by Opachich's single, led the rally from a 6-3 deficit to a 9-6 lead that JU would not relinquish.
"Our guys hung in there and were in the game, they just needed a break to go there way," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "We kept battling at the plate and our pitchers did a great job of keeping us in the game. Once we got an opening, we started to get some confidence and it was contagious."
Trailing 4-0 entering the seventh, JU put up three runs to begin its comeback. After going down in order for three straight innings, the Dolphins sent eight batters to the plate, getting three hits and scoring three runs.
Stetson answered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 6-3 lead. Four straights hits with two out drove in the runs, with Robert Crews driving both in on a single through the left side.
The Dolphins got a gutsy outing from starter Carson Andrew, who held the Hatters to five runs, here of which were earned, on 10 hits in 6.2 innings of work while striking out seven.
The Hatters opened the scoring with a run in the first, as Jeff Simpson led off with a triple and scored on a ground ball by Jeremy Cruz.
Stetson tacked on another run in the third, as Casey Frawley scored from second on a ground ball by Frank Florio that was misplayed by Matt Lopez to give the Hatters a 2-0 lead.
The Hatters tacked on two more in the fifth to take a 4-0 lead. After a leadoff single and an error by Thomas Myers allowed Cruz to reach second, Justin Bass drove him in with a single and later scored on a double steal to push the Stetson lead.
Closer Robbie Elsemiller (2-3) picked up the loss, giving up five runs on five hits in two-third of an inning. Starter Nick Pugliese gave up three runs, two earned, on seven hits in 6.1 innings of work for the Hatters - holding the Dolphins to no runs on four hits in the first six innings of work.