FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2007
Baseball's rally falls short in 10-9 loss to USF

Feb. 16, 2007

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Despite trailing by eight runs in the ninth, the JU baseball team made things interesting with a seven-run rally but could not get over the summit in a 10-9 loss to USF, Friday afternoon at Alexander Brest Field.

Senior Matt Dobbins (1-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing three runs on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work. Senior first baseman Ryan McArdle finished 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI to lead the Dolphin offense.

Danny Otero (2-0) earned the win after allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits with a walk and three strikeouts in six innings. Walter Diaz, a transfer shortstop from Miami, finished 5-for-6 to lead the Bulls.

Trailing 10-2 in the bottom of the ninth, freshman designated hitter Alex Martinez and senior Jimmy Potucek were each hit by a pitch to start the inning. After a base hit to center by senior second baseman Logan James loaded the bases, junior center fielder Kevin Ferriera drove in a run with a bases loaded walk.

USF closer Yuri Higgins entered the game and gave up a run on a wild pitch before allowing a two-run double to sophomore Brad Simmons in center field top make it 10-6. In the next at-bat, senior left fielder Pete Clifford barely got under a pitch to tally the first out but senior right fielder Mike McCallister walked and then stole second base to put runners on second and third.

Junior third baseman Ben Kerr made it 10-7 with an RBI ground out to second before senior first baseman Ryan McArdle followed with a two-run home run to left center to cut the margin to 10-9. Higgins would finally put an end to the rally with a strikeout.

"We put ourselves in too big of a hole to crawl out of," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "We need to do a better job of keeping ourselves into games by pitching out way of tough spots and coming up with the big hit earlier in the game. We have got to regroup because we play this team two more times."

USF jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Braulio Pardo drove in Brandin Daniel from third with a sacrifice fly to right center field.

The Bulls increased the lead to 3-0 in the top of the fourth inning when Ty Taborelli hit an RBI double to right center field and Addison Maruszak drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to center.

The Dolphins cut the lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth when Ferreira drove in a run with a grounder to second. Martinez led off the inning with a walk and then advanced to second on a base hit up the middle by senior catcher Donnie Vickers. After both runners advanced on a bunt by James, Ferriera pulled a ball to the right side to drive in the first run.

JU made it 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth when McArdle hit an RBI single through the left side. McCallister led off the inning with a single to third and then advanced on a throwing error by Maruszak on the same play. After moving to third on a grounder to second by senior third baseman Thomas LePage, McArdle pulled a ball through the left side with two outs.

The Bulls made it 4-2 in the top of the seventh when Taborelli hit an RBI grounder to second base with a runner at third and one out.

USF put the game out of reach with six runs on six hits while taking advantage of three walks in the top of the ninth inning.

JU will continue its home-and-home series with USF on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Red McEwan Field.