THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2004
Baseball Powers By Florida A&M, 4-2
Feb. 26, 2004
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Senior third baseman Orlando Diaz (Downers Grove, Ill.) crushed a three-run home run and senior righthander Dennis Robinson (Putnam Valley, N.Y.) scattered six hits over 8.0 innings as JU held on for a 4-2 win over Florida A&M Thursday night at Alexander Brest Field. Junior Ashley Roque (Jacksonville/Bolles) came on in the ninth with two men on to earn his first career save after striking out the final two batters. JU improves to 4-4 on the season with its third consecutive come-from-behind win, while FAMU falls to 5-11.
Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth, the Dolphins got things going when first baseman Gordie Gronkowski (Buffalo, N.Y.) reached base after being hit by a pitch on the hand. Shortstop Pete Clifford (Jacksonville/Providence) followed with a one-out double, setting the stage for Diaz's third home run of the season, a towering shot to left. JU added an insurance run in the fifth when Larry Best-Berfet (Newark, N.J.) walked and then advanced to second on a balk. Best-Berfet went to third on a Logan James (Clearwater, Fla.) flyout to center, and then scored one batter later on a Jamil Knight wild pitch.
Florida A&M loaded the bases in the ninth, but couldn't score. Dolphin reliever Patrick Sitkins (Ft. Myers, Fla.) struck out Jay Drayton to open the ninth. Patrick Pinkerton reached on an error by Clifford and then Jimmy Waltrick walked giving the Rattlers men on first and second. Roque came in and appeared to pop up FAMU left fielder Dan Flaherty, but the ball dropped in shallow right between three Dolphin fielders to load the bases. Roque struck out the final two batters for the save.
Robinson allowed two runs and struck out six for his second win of the season. Knight (1-2) suffered the loss, allowing four runs on six hits with 10 strikeouts in 8.0 innings of work. Clifford had two hits and scored a run for JU, while Rattler third baseman Chris Lee went 3-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored. Florida A&M took a 3-0 lead in the third inning on a Lee double and a two-out RBI-single to center by right fielder Todd Rodman.
The Dolphins continue their 12-game homestand on Friday against Western Michigan at 6 p.m. at Alexander Brest Field.