SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2004
Baseball Homers For Come-From-Behind Win in the 12th Over South Florida, 6-5
Feb. 21, 2004
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Orlando Diaz (Downers Grove, Ill.) hit a two-run walk-off home run in the 12th inning with JU trailing by one to snap the Dolphins three-game losing streak in a 6-5 victory over South Florida Saturday at Alexander Brest Field. Diaz went 2-for-6 with his second home run of the season, while sophomore Gordie Gronkowski (Buffalo, N.Y.) went 2-for-5 with a solo home run in the sixth inning and three runs scored.
JU improves to 3-3, while South Florida drops to 4-2, losing its last two games to game-winning walk-off hits.
Gronkowski led off with a single with the Dolphins trailing by one in the bottom of the 12th and Diaz stepped to the plate and hit a walk-off bomb to left center to end a 6-5 thriller. The teams had failed to score through two extra-innings of play until JU walked in a run in the top of the 12th to give South Florida a 5-4 lead.
The Dolphins trailed 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth with two-out and the bases loaded when freshman Pete Clifford (Jacksonville, Fla.) scored on a wild pitch to send the game into extra innings. Clifford began the Dolphins' ninth-inning rally with a two-out single, followed by sophomore Donald Brickle's (Jacksonville, Fla.) pinch-hit walk and freshman Daniel Murphy's (Jacksonville, Fla.) pinch-hit hit-by-pitch.
JU starter junior Dennis Robinson (Putnam Valley, Fla.) threw 7.0 innings, allowing six hits and three runs while striking out three, while Dolphin freshman reliever Andrew Laughter (Longwood, Fla.) earned the decision for his first career victory.
It was the second time in as many games that South Florida closer Joey Livingston blew a save opportunity in the ninth inning.
JU returns to action tomorrow to play the third and final game with South Florida at 1 p.m. at Alexander Brest Field.