FRIDAY, APRIL 04, 2014
Jacksonville Handles North Florida In Series Opener
Alex McRae (Photo by Skip Tapp)
Alex McRae (Photo by Skip Tapp)
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville jumped on North Florida early and never looked back as the Dolphins won their third straight Atlantic Sun game 8-4 in the series opener on Friday night at Harmon Stadium.

Eight of the nine starters had a hit in the game for the Dolphins led by junior Angelo Amendolare (Edgewater, Fla.) who went 3-for-5 with two RBI and three runs scored.

The offense, which produced 14 hits, staked Alex McRae (West Allis, Wis.) to a 4-0 lead in the first three innings which would be all the Dolphins starter would need. McRae picked up his second win of the season after throwing 7.1 innings allowing four runs on seven hits with two strikeouts. Senior captain Adam Maxon (Oviedo, Fla.) took it the rest of the way for Jacksonville striking out three of the five batters he faces in 1.2 hitless innings.

“After my last outing, I was just trying to go out there and attack the zone,” said McRae who is 2-0 now when he goes more than seven innings. “Braddock (Rowe) did a great job of keeping me calm behind the plate when I was starting to get into in trouble.”

Jacksonville (9-19; 4-6 A-Sun) jumped on the board in the first inning after taking advantage of the lead off walk issued to Parker Perez (Winter Spring, Fla.). Scott Schaub (Ocala, Fla.) eventually brought him into score with a single to right for one of his two hits and two RBI in the ballgame. Schaub, who entered the game hitting .524 (11-for-21) with runners in scoring position, was 2-for-3 in the situation tonight adding another RBI single in the eighth.

Three more runs by the Dolphins in the third was jump started by a leadoff double off the bat of Cameron Gibson (Conyers, Ga.) . Gibson reach base the first three times he was at the plate and ended the night 2-for-5 with two runs scored.

“Once you get Cameron on base he is a good runner it puts a lot of pressure on the defense,” said McRae of Gibson who hit second in the line-up tonight. “Getting him on is huge for us to getting the offense going, especially early in the game.”

The early lead helped grow the confidence of McRae as he allowed just one hit over the next four innings after the Ospreys (14-16; 5-5) put two on the board in the bottom of the third.

“Pitching with a 4-0 lead you just have to go out there and throw strikes. Once the other team gets down like that they start pressing and trying to do too much so you just have to throw strikes and let them hit it,” McRae said.

Rowe and Dylan Dillard (Kissmmee, Fla.) also had two hits apiece for Jacksonville, while Connor Marabell (Jacksonville, Fla.) went 1-for-2 with two RBI, a run scored and a pair of walks in his first start at first base since being injured on March 22 vs Mercer.

David Trexler was charged with the loss for North Florida which committed a season high four errors in the ball game.

“It’s huge for us and gives us a ton of confidence heading into tomorrow and Sunday,” McRae added. “We just have to take it one game at a time. This is a big series for us that can put us right back in the middle of the conference.”

Game two of the series is on Saturday at 1:00 pm. Be sure to tune in on 92.5 FM.