FRIDAY, MARCH 04, 2005
Baseball Takes First Game Against Belmont, 4-3
March 4, 2005
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Junior Gordie Gronkowski (Buffalo, N.Y.) hit the go-ahead home run in the sixth while freshman RHP Matt Davis (Fernandina Beach, Fla.) and senior Hunter Davis (Wakulla, Fla.) held onto the lead as JU baseball defeated Belmont, 4-3, Friday afternoon to open Atlantic Sun Conference play at Greer Stadium. JU (9-4, 1-0 Atlantic Sun) has now won two consecutive games while Belmont (6-4, 0-1 Atlantic Sun) dropped its second-consecutive game.
Sophomore Pete Clifford (Jacksonville/Providence) finished 2-for-4 with three RBI to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. Junior Donald Brickle (Jacksonville/Arlington Country Day) improves to 2-1 on the year after allowing three runs (none earned) on seven hits in 5.0 innings. Matt Davis hurled 3.0 innings of scoreless relief while Hunter Davis pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save of the year.
With the score tied at 3-3 in the sixth, Gronkowski led off with a solo homer over the left-field wall to give the Dolphins the lead for good. For Gronkowski, who connected on the first pitch of the inning, it was his second home run of the season.
The Bruins threatened in the bottom of the sixth with a runners on first and second with no outs, but freshman RHP Matt Davis entered the contest and ended the threat with a force out at second and two strikeouts.
JU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the third after Clifford drove in two runs with a base hit to left field. Sophomore Doug Fowler (High Point, N.C.) led off the inning with a single up the middle and then moved to second on a fielding error by Matt Warnat at second base. After both runners moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by McHugh, Clifford followed with a single to left.
The Dolphins added another run in the fifth inning when Clifford drove in Daniel Murphy (Jacksonville/Providence) from third with a grounder to second.
Belmont tied the contest (3-3) in the bottom of the fifth after McHugh couldn't corral a ball in the hole with two outs. The Bruins capitalized with a double and two base hits to plate three players and even the game.
The Dolphins and Bruins will continue their series on Saturday at 5 p.m. EST at Greer Stadium.