SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2007
Baseball pummels South Alabama, 14-4
Feb. 24, 2007
MOBILE, Ala. - The Dolphin bats came alive to end a five-game losing streak as the JU baseball team pounded out 14 runs on 18 hits to defeat South Alabama, 14-4, Saturday afternoon at Stanky Field.
JU (5-6) scored its most runs since putting up 15 against Mercer on May 12, 2006. South Alabama (3-3) lost its second consecutive game to the Dolphins in the Coca-Cola Classic, dating back to an 8-5 loss in 2005.
"It was good to see our offense break out today and that took a lot of pressure off of our pitching staff," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "This is the most complete game that we have played this season and hopefully this will get things rolling for us."
Freshman Carson Andrew (1-0) earned his first collegiate win after allowing three runs on five hits with a walk and a strikeout in a season-high four innings of relief. Junior Matt Dobbins got the no-decision despite allowing only one run on four hits with two walks and a strikeout in 3 1/3 innings. Freshman Glenn Witkowski closed the contest with 1 2/3 innings of hitless relief, including no walks and two strikeouts.
Junior center fielder Kevin Ferreira, senior left fielder Pete Clifford and senior second baseman Logan James each led the squad with three hits while freshman third baseman Chuck Opachich, senior right fielder Mike McCallister and sophomore catcher Brad Simmons each drove in three runs. McCallister extended his team-high hitting streak to eight games, while Opachich extended his streak to five.
Joey Doan (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing nine runs (six earned) on nine hits while walking one and striking out four in 3.1 innings. Ryne Jernigan, Billy Kleinschrodt and Bunky Kateon each had two hits to lead the Jaguars.
JU jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the third when Opachich hit an RBI single to left field and Clifford knocked a two-run home run to left center. Junior shortstop Ben Kerr led off the inning with a single to left and then moved to third on consecutive groundouts. With two outs, Opachich clubbed a ball over the head of third baseman David Doss drive in Kerr. On the next pitch, Clifford crushed his second home run of the season.
USA cut the deficit to 3-1 in the bottom of the third when Kleinschrodt hit a solo shot over the left-center wall.
The Dolphins blew the contest open (9-1) after sending 11 batters to the plate in the top of the fourth and scoring six runs on five hits while also taking advantage of two Jaguars' errors. Simmons hit a solo home run, James pulled a two-run single through the right side, Opachich drove in a run with a grounder to short and McCallister fisted a two-run single to right.
Simmons led off the inning with deep drive down the left field line on a 3-2 count which bounced off the secondary wall and back onto the field. After a five minute discussion by the umpiring crew, the ball was ruled off the foul file and awarded as a home run.
The Jaguars threatened with the bases loaded and only one out in the bottom of the sixth but Andrew entered the contest and induced Kleinschrodt into a 6-4-3 double-play on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
JU put up four more runs in the top of the fifth to make it 13-1 when Opachich laced an RBI single right, McCallister hit a lining sacrifice fly to left and Simmons hit a controversial double two-run double off the wall in right center.
Simmons hit a towering shot to right center which appeared to clear the first wall, hit off a sign on the secondary wall, and bounce back onto the field. After another congregation by the umpiring crew, in which Alexander was ejected, the play was ruled a double.
USA cut the margin to 13-2 after an RBI single through the left side by Ryne Jernigan and a sacrifice fly to right field by Jeff Cunningham.
The Dolphins added another run in the top of the sixth when Ferreira hit an RBI single back up the middle. Senior designated hitter Donnie Vickers led off the inning with a single to center and then advanced to third on a base hit through the right side by James. Ferreira followed with a bouncer up the middle to drive in the run.
The Jaguars made it 14-4 in the bottom of the eighth when pinch-hitter Eric Shortell hit an RBI double to left center.
JU will conclude play in the Coca-Cola Classic in Mobile, Ala., against Michigan State on Sunday at noon EST.