Baseball falls to Bethune-Cookman, 3-1

Feb. 3, 2007

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A solo home run by senior Pete Clifford in the ninth inning was the only offense that the JU baseball team could muster in a 3-1 loss to Bethune-Cookman on Saturday afternoon at Alexander Brest Field.

The Wildcats' (1-1) pitching staff held the Dolphins (2-1) hitless through eight innings and only allowed two JU hits in the game.

Senior Dustin Blackwell (1-0) led the way for the Wildcats with seven shutout innings and six strikeouts to earn the win. Francisco Gomez worked out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth, allowing a run on two hits, to get the save and secure the win.

"Bethune-Cookman did a tremendous job on the mound against us," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "They keep us off balance all day and when we finally hit the ball, they made plays defensively. We will try and get back in the win column on Sunday."

Offensively, Chris Hanault drove in all three runs going 3-for-3 with a double to lead the Wildcats. Clifford and Ryan McArdle each recorded hits for the Dolphins.

Freshman reliever Glenn Witkowski (0-1) took the loss for JU after giving up all three Wildcat runs on five hits in 2.1 innings of work.

Trailing 3-0 in the ninth inning, Clifford homered to right center to put the Dolphins on the board. Mike McCallister and Thomas LePage each drew consecutive walks off Gomez, followed by McArdle reaching on an infield single to load the bases.

Gomez got Brad Simmons to ground into a double play to stifle the rally with Matt Dobbins grounding out to end the game.

The Wildcats grabbed the initial lead in the sixth inning when Henault drove home Angel Mercado on a one-out single up the middle off Witkowski. Mercado lead off the inning with a double down the right field line before moving third on a groundout.

In the eighth inning, Henault continued to be a thorn in the Dolphins side with a two-run double down the left field line to give the Wildcats a 3-0 advantage.

JU starter Matt Gardner allowed no runs and struck out three batters to receive a no-decision in his first start, while Josh Burrows and Chris Rusler combined for 1-2/3 of scoreless relief

The Dolphins will face the Wildcats in the final game of the three game series at Alexander Brest Field on Sunday at 1 p.m.