FRIDAY, MARCH 02, 2007
Baseball falls to La Salle, 11-7
March 2, 2007
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Dolphins managed only four hits while registering five errors in the field as the JU baseball team dropped an 11-7 contest to La Salle, Friday evening at Alexander Brest Field. The contest was delayed three hours due to inclement weather in the area.
JU (5-9) dropped its third consecutive game but managed to put up seven runs due to nine walks by the Explorer's pitching staff.
La Salle (3-2) finished with nine hits on the evening but held only a 7-5 lead until blowing the contest open with four runs in the top of the ninth.
Junior Matt Gardner (1-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing six runs (three earned) on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings of work. Sophomore Tim Brown pitched effectively in relief with two earned runs on three hits with a walk and four strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.
"We need to take advantage of opportunities that are given to us," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "We end up drawing nine walks but we don't get the hits to drive them in and get a big inning. La Salle took advantage of our mistakes in the field and they came away with the win."
Senior left fielder Pete Clifford hit safely in his fifth straight game with a single in his first at-bat. Senior right fielder Mike McCallister had his hitting streak snapped at 10 games after going 0-2 with three walks.
Dan Waters (2-0) earned the win after allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits with three walks and five strikeouts in six innings. Rich Prall led the offense for La Salle after going 3-for-5 with an RBI.
La Salle jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first when John Malloy scored from third on a fielding error at the tail end of a double-play attempt and Billy Kern hit an RBI single to center.
JU cut the deficit to 2-1 in the bottom of the first when freshman Chuck Opachich scored from third on a fielder's choice to second by McCallister.
The Explorers pushed the advantage to 4-1 in the top of the third when John Richards hit an RBI double down the left-field line and Dennis Burge hit an RBI single up the middle.
La Salle made it 7-1 in the top of the sixth when John Vincent and Kevin Jones scored on a throwing error and Prall hit an RBI single to third base.
The Dolphins made it 7-2 in the bottom of the sixth when freshman designated hitter Alex Martinez hit an RBI single to short. Opachich led off the inning with a single to center but was forced at second on a dropped infield fly to third. After McCallister drew a walk, both runners advanced when senior first baseman Ryan McArdle grounded out to the pitcher. Martinez followed with a high chopper to short and beat the throw.
JU made it 7-5 in the bottom of the seventh when senior second baseman Logan James scored on a wild pitch, McArdle drove in a run with a fielder's choice to short and Clifford crossed the plate before senior pinch-runner Justin Young was tagged out in an intentional run-down.
The Explorers put the contest out of reach in the top of the ninth when pinch-hitter TJ Chism laced a three-run triple down the right-field line and then scored on a throwing error as he went to third base.
The Dolphins put up two runs in the bottom of the ninth when James scored on a fielding error at second and senior first baseman Thomas LePage drove in a run with a fielder's choice to short.
JU will continue its four-game series against La Salle on Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.