May 2, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Junior catcher Jeremy Gillan was a one-man wrecking crew for the Dolphins as he went 3-for-5 with a career-high six RBI, including a three-run homer in the first inning to set the tone, as the JU baseball team defeated North Florida, 14-11, Friday evening at Harmon Stadium.
JU (24-22, 13-15) snapped a four-game slide and increased its winning streak at Harmon Stadium to four games after pounding out 14 run on 13 hits.
UNF (24-20, 13-12) managed to score 11 runs on 13 hits during the game but left a game-high 13 runners on base.
"This is a huge series for both schools so winning the first game is always crucial," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "We came out and got on them early and we needed every single run we got because UNF is not a team that will go quietly. Hopefully we can keep swinging the bats like this tomorrow."
Senior Matt Davis (2-2) earned the win after hurling one inning of scoreless relief in which he recorded a walk and a strikeout. Senior Matt Dobbins notched his first save of the year by hurling a perfect ninth inning.
Ty Pryor (5-4) was tagged with the loss after allowing seven runs on six hits with two walks in one inning.
Andrew Hannon led the Ospreys by going 3-for-6 with a double and two RBI. T.J. Thompson, Preston Hale, Travis Martin and Andy Warren each finished with multiple hits to add to the offense.
The Dolphins jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the top of the first when Gillan hit a three-run homer, senior shortstop Matt Lopez hit an RBI single and sophomore second baseman Chuck Opachich hit a two-run single.
Ferreira led off the game with a single back up the middle and then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior left fielder Kyle Fleming. After senior designated hitter Matt Dobbins drew a walk, Gillan cleared the bases with a shot off the hitting facility in left field. Martinez followed with a single through the left side and then advanced to second on a wild pitch by Ty Pryor. With two outs, Lopez plated Martinez with a single to center and then advanced to third on a single into the gap by Hawkins. With runners on second and third, Opachich cleared the bases with a single down the right-field line.
JU increased the lead to 9-0 in the top of the second when Gillan hit an RBI single, Lopez drew a bases loaded walk and a run scored on a wild pitch by Tucker Pryor.
Fleming drew a walk to lead off the inning and then advanced to third on a single through the right side by Dobbins. Gillan plated Fleming with a single in the hole and both runners advanced a base on a passed ball. After junior right fielder Thomas Myers drew a walk to load the bases, Lopez drew a walk to score Dobbins. On the next pitch, Gillan scored from third on a wild pitch through the legs of UNF catcher Ryan Lowe.
UNF cut the deficit to 9-4 in the bottom of the third after taking advantage of two fielding errors by the Dolphins with three-consecutive RBI singles by Andrew Hannon, Andy Warren and T.J. Gaudy. The Ospreys still threatened with the bases loaded and two outs but Andrew got Ryan Lowe to strike out looking to end the inning.
The Ospreys cut the margin to 9-6 in the bottom of the fourth after an RBI groundout by Travis Martin and a run scoring throwing error by the Dolphins. UNF still had the bases loaded and two outs but Davis got Mike Smith to strike out looking on a 3-2 count to end the inning.
JU increased the lead to 12-6 in the top of the fifth when Fleming hit an RBI grounder and Gillan hit a two-run single.
Hawkins led off the inning with a double to right center and sophomore Tony Bernazard followed with a walk. After Ferreira advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt, Fleming pulled a ball to second and Hawkins beat the throw home to score the run. After Dobbins drew a walk to load the bases, Gillan pulled a ball through the left side to score two more runs.
UNF cut the margin to 12-8 in the bottom of the sixth when Hannon hit an RBI double to left center and Gaudy drew a bases loaded walk. The Ospreys still threatened with the bases loaded but junior Tim Brown got Michael Gropper to ground into an inning-ending double play.
The Dolphins pushed the lead to 13-8 in the top of the eighth when Lopez tallied a suicide squeeze. Martinez led off the inning with a triple to right center and then came into score when Lopez pushed a bunt up the first base line.
The Ospreys cut the deficit to 13-10 in the bottom of the eighth when Warren hit an RBI single up the middle and Robbie Collier hit an RBI single. UNF threatened with runners on first and second with one out but Loosen came on to get consecutive fly outs to center to end the inning.
The Dolphins increased the lead to 14-10 in the top of the ninth when Bernazard scored on a throwing error by Lowe. Bernazard led off the inning with single in the hole and advanced to second an errant throw to first on the play. After stealing third, Bernazard trotted home when Lowe's throw rolled into left field.
UNF cut the margin to 14-11 in the bottom of the ninth when Hale scored from third on a double-play.
JU and North Florida will continue the SunTrust River City Rumble Barrel on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Harmon Stadium. The contest will be broadcast live on 1010XL with Barry Milligan calling all of the action. The game can also be followed on ASun.TV and GameTracker on JUDolphins.com.