THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2008
Baseball falls to Kennesaw State, 7-1
May 15, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - GALLERY
Sophomore catcher Brad Simmons tallied his third home run of the year but the Dolphins could not find another big hit before the Owls opened the flood gates in the ninth as the JU baseball team fell to Kennesaw State, 7-1, Thursday evening for Senior Night and 50-Year Anniversary Celebration at John Sessions Stadium.
JU (27-27, 13-18) took an early but could not add on as the Dolphins left a game-high seven runners on base. The Dolphins are still holding on to the No. 5 seed in the A-Sun Tournament and still has a magic number of two, with two games remaining, to ensure a trip to DeLand, Fla.
KSU (28-26, 19-12) snapped a two-game slide by putting up three runs on three hits in the top of the fourth inning before adding three more runs on two hits in the top of the ninth.
"We control our own destiny with two games tomorrow," said head coach Terry Alexander. "There are obviously other scenarios that can get us in but two wins tomorrow will put us in DeLand. We need to bounce back and take care of business tomorrow."
Sophomore Glenn Witkowski (2-3) was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits with four strikeouts in seven innings.
Kyle Heckathorn (4-2) earned the win after allowing only one run on five hits with two walks and 13 strikeouts in seven innings. Michael Bohana notched his sixth save after hurling two innings of scoring relief.
Along with Simmons, freshman third baseman Jamaal Hawkins finished 2-for-3 with a double to lead the JU offense.
The Dolphins jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Simmons hit his third home runs of the season, a solo shot, to left field with one out.
The Owls took a 3-1 lead in the top of the fourth when Martin Baker and Jay Morrow each recorded an RBI double before Morrow scored from third on a failed pick off attempt.
KSU increased the margin to 4-1 in the top of the fifth when Andrew Martin hit a solo shot to left center with one out.
The Owls added three more runs in the top of the ninth when Bucky Smith scored on a wild pitch and Tyler Stubblefield hit a two-run single to center with two outs.
JU will conclude the 2008 regular season against Kennesaw State with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. on Friday at John Sessions Stadium. The contests can be followed live on ASun.TV and via GameTracker on JUDolphins.com.
MLB pitcher Russ Ortiz will throw out the ceremonial pitch prior to Game One of the doubleheader in honor of the generous donation he made for the brick walkway in front of John Sessions Stadium. The 10-year major leaguer, who was recently with the San Francisco Giants in 2007 and is currently rehabbing after having elbow surgery this past offseason, was coached by JU associate head coach Tim Montez from 1990-93 when they were both at Montclair Prep High School in Southern California.
Friday will also be the last day of JU's celebration of 50 years of Dolphin baseball as former player Roger Strickland (1961-63) will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Game Two. All former players are also invited to a 6 p.m. cookout and participate in a Home Run Derby following the second game of the doubleheader.