April 30, 2008
STATESBORO, Ga. - Despite a late offensive surge in the seventh, the Dolphins could not recover from a 10-run third inning by the Eagles as the JU baseball team fell to Georgia Southern, 17-7, Wednesday evening at J.I. Clements Stadium.
JU (23-22), which has now dropped four consecutive games to the Eagles, was held scoreless through six innings before plating six runs in the top of the seventh.
GSU (26-18) increased its winning streak to five games while also setting a new program record for home runs in a season (89), surpassing the previous mark of 88 by the College World Series squad in 1990.
Both teams combined for 24 runs, 26 hits, 23 walks, 26 runners left on base and 14 pitchers used in the three hour and 42 minute contest.
"We allowed a big inning to one of the best hitting teams in the nation," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "All we can do is wipe the slate clean and focus on a big series against North Florida this weekend."
Trent Franzago (1-1) earned the win after hurling three no-hit innings in which he walked four batters in a pre-determined start.
Junior Garrett Dunlap (2-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing three runs on three hits with a walk and a strikeout in a third of an inning.
Phillip Porter, Jeremiah Parker and Brian Pierce each finished with three hits to lead the Eagle offense.
The Eagles took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Griffin Benedict hit an RBI single, A.J. Wirnsberger drew a bases loaded walk and David Richardson hit a sacrifice fly to right.
GSU blew the contest open with 10 runs on 10 hits in the bottom of the third to make it 13-0. Included in the inning were back-to-back-to-back home runs by Ty Wright (3 RBI), Phillip Porter (solo) and Chris Shehan (solo) to set the new single-season record for the Eagles.
The Eagles increased the lead to 14-0 in the bottom of the fourth when Jeremiah Parker hit an RBI double to center field.
JU cut the deficit to 14-6 in the top of the seventh after an RBI triple by Yates, a two-run homer by Gillan, RBI ground outs by freshman third baseman Jamaal Hawkins and sophomore second baseman Tony Bernazard and a run scoring error by Eagle first baseman Will Southwell.
Junior pinch hitter Brad Simmons led off the inning with a walk and then scored from first when Yates dropped a triple into the right-field corner. Gillan followed with a shot to left field, his sixth homer of the season, before a single through the right side by junior right fielder Thomas Myers. After walks to freshman designated hitter Chris Connelly and freshman catcher Alex Swenson made the bases loaded, Hawkins hit a grounder under the glove of Southwell to score Myers and Connelly. Bernazard followed with a grounder to short to score Swenson.
The Eagles increased the lead to 17-6 in the bottom of the eighth when Chris Banker hit a two-run single and Wirnsberger hit an RBI double.
The Dolphins cut the margin to 17-7 in the top of the ninth when Simmons drew a bases loaded walk with two outs. With one out Swenson hit a single to center and then advanced to third on back-to-back walks to sophomore pinch hitter Alex Martinez and junior pinch hitter Dan Maier. Simmons followed with another walk to score Swenson.
JU will next face cross-town rival North Florida in a pivotal series in both the A-Sun standings and the SunTrust River City Rumble Barrel. The first game of the series will begin on Friday at 7 p.m. at Harmon Stadium. Saturday and Sunday's games will be at 1 p.m. with each being broadcast live on 1010XL with Barry Milligan calling all of the action. All three games can be followed on ASun.TV and GameTracker on JUDolphins.com.