FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 02, 2007
Baseball rallies back for an 8-6 win over Bethune-Cookman
Feb. 2, 2007
JACKSONVILLE, Fla - A three-run eighth inning helped propel the JU baseball team to an 8-6 victory over Bethune-Cookman in the home opener at Alexander Brest Field on Friday night.
Trailing 6-5 with no outs and bases loaded in the eighth inning, senior Logan James laced a ground ball to Angel Negron, who under threw the catcher, allowing two runners to score and giving the Dolphins (2-0) a 7-6 advantage.
Pinch-hitter Matt Dobbins followed with an RBI groundout to plate Dan Maier, while senior Justin Young pitched a scoreless ninth inning to pick his second save in less than four days to secure JU's win.
Sophomore Garrett Dunlap (1-0) earned the win in relief after allowing one unearned run on two hits and five strikeouts in four innings of work.
Joseph Gauiter (0-1) took the loss for the Wildcats (0-1) after allowing two unearned runs on two hits, while fanning a batter in an inning of relief.
Offensively, senior Mike McCallister and Ryan McArdle each went 3-for-4 with RBI to lead all Dolphin hitters. McCallister was a home run short of the cycle for JU. Negron recorded three hits and four RBI for the Wildcats.
"I liked how our guys battled back tonight," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "We got behind early, but chipped away at their lead to get the win. Our relievers did a great job of keeping us in the game when were down. We look forward to another hard fought game tomorrow against their well-coached team."
The Dolphins grabbed the early 1-0 lead in the second inning when McArdle drove home McCallister from second on a one-out single to center. McCallister lead off that inning with his second double of the season.
Negron helped the Wildcats take a 2-1 advantage in the third inning on a two-run single off JU starter D.J. Ackley.
The Wildcats would extend their lead to 3-1 in the fourth inning on a run-scoring ground out by Luis Gonzalez. After the ground out, Ackley would be lifted for reliever Tim Brown, who would surrender a two-RBI single to Negron giving the Wildcats a 5-1 lead.
JU answered in the bottom of the fourth inning to score three runs with the help of three extra-base hits.
McCallister opened the inning with a triple down the right field line. Senior Thomas LePage followed with a double to the same spot off Wildcats starter Francisco Rodriguez to plate McCallister. McArdle posted the second consecutive double to deep center field allowing LePage to move to third. LePage would later score on a line out to center form Maier, while McArdle crossed home on a single to right center field from James to compete the scoring.
In the fifth inning, McCallister drove in Matt Lopez after his lead off double to cut the Dolphins' deficit to 6-5.
McArdle opened the eighth inning with a single through the left side. Senior Donnie Vickers followed the at bat by beating a out a bunt to the right side, while Maier followed with a walk to set up the Dolphins' base loaded opportunity for the win.
Ackley earned a no-decision in his first start of the season after allowing five runs on nine hits and four strikeouts in 3-1/3 innings. He would also tie the Dolphins career record for hit batters with his 27th bean ball in the third inning. Brown allowed one hit in his first appearance for the Dolphins this season.
Rodriguez also did not factor in the decision for the Wildcats by tossing 3-2/3 innings and giving up four runs on seven hits and fanning one batter. Junior Phil Enright allowed one run in 2-1/3 relief innings, while Francisio Gomez surrendered one unearned run and struck out one batter in the eighth inning.
JU junior right-handed pitcher Matt Gardner (1-0, 0.00 ERA) is scheduled to face Wildcats' senior righty Dustin Blackwell (0-0, 0.00 ERA) in game two of the series at Alexander Brest Field on Saturday at 1 p.m.