SATURDAY, MARCH 01, 2014
McRae Masterful As Dolphins Shutout Winthrop
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Alex McRae (West Allis, Wis.) marched in like a lion on Saturday for the Dolphins. The junior righty struck out a career best 11 in a complete game five-hit shutout to lead Jacksonville to a 4-0 win over Winthrop at Sessions Stadium. The victory evened the weekend series at one game apiece with the rubber match coming on Sunday at 1:00 pm.
“Phenomenal job today by Alex, he took a big step forward today,” said first year Head Coach Tim Montez who picked up his first win at Sessions Stadium today.
“He had all four pitches working then did a great job of changing speeds and patterns from inning to inning. That’s one of the big steps he has taken in his development. He’s starting to learn how to pitch and what he needs to do to be able to pitch at the next level. It showed in his demeanor coming off the two innings he threw earlier in the week against UCF,” added Montez of the third career complete game and second career shutout for his junior ace.
McRae retired 10 straight hiiters at one points. His 11 strikeouts are the most by a Dolphins pitcher since first round MLB draft pick Chris Anderson had 13 in a win over TCU last March 1.
“I felt good out there today, Braddock (Rowe) called a great game behind the plate and the defense backed me up with a couple double plays,” said McRae who pitched two scoreless innings with three strikeouts on Tuesday. “The game against UCF on Tuesday really gave me some momentum going into today after a rough couple starts to this season.”
Sophomore Connor Marabell (Jacksonville, Fla.) gave McRae all the run support he would need with a sacrifice fly in the third, but the Dolphins key hit came in the seventh. Holding onto a 1-0 lead, senior Scott Schaub (Ocala, Fla.) gave Jacksonville the cushion it was missing on Friday. Schaub, who was making his first start of the year, ripped a 1-2, two-out pitch to center field scoring Rowe and sophomore Parker Perez (Winter Springs, Fla.) who each singled earlier in the frame.
Michael Babb (Jacksonville, Fla.) gave the Dolphins another run in the eighth. A single and two stolen bases by the sophomore outfield put him into position to score on a passed ball and provided the final margin.
“That’s what you are looking for in a senior,” said Montez of Schaub who missed a few games earlier in the season to injury. “He has had a frustrating start to his senior year but he’s done a great job of staying positive. We thought this would be the weekend he’d be able to come back and it was good to see back out there battling with two outs and on the field at 3rd playing flawless defense.”
Rowe and Schaub each had two hits to lead the Dolphins.
“We capitalized on some mistakes today and as long as we can pitch and play defense we have a chance to be in every ball game,” added Montez. “It was a great job by these guys to answer back a tough loss from last night. Now we have a chance to win the series tomorrow. So we’ll see who steps up for us. It’s good to see these guys get rewarded for their commitment and to see a smile on their face.”
Joey Strain (2-1) was charged with the loss for Winthrop after allowing three runs on eight hits in seven innings.