SUNDAY, MARCH 11, 2007
Baseball rallies to steal game two over Western Michigan, 5-4

March 11, 2007

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Junior center fielder Kevin Ferreira drew a two out bases-loaded walk on a 3-2 pitch to complete a two run rally in the bottom of the seventh as the JU baseball team stole a 5-4 win over Western Michigan, Sunday evening in a seven-inning game two of a doubleheader at Alexander Brest Field.

JU (12-11) eclipsed the .500 plateau for the first time since early February to complete a maddening six games in seven days with a 6-1 mark. Western Michigan (4-7), which allowed two runs in the ninth, did not allow a hit in the inning but walked four and hit three batters to give the Dolphins the win.

"It's not the conventional way to win but we will take it," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "We hit the ball a lot in the first game and our patience paid off for us in the nightcap.

"I'm glad to be back over .500 and now we need to have a strong game against Bethune-Cookman on Tuesday before we open up A-Sun play this weekend on the road."

Trailing 4-3 in the ninth, senior right fielder Mike McCallister walked but was erased on a fielder's choice to short by senior first baseman Ryan McArdle. Senior Justin Young pinch ran for McArdle and stole second base.

With two outs, senior catcher Donnie Vickers and senior second baseman Logan James each drew walks on a 3-2 count to load the bases. Junior shortstop Ben Kerr was hit by a pitch on a 2-0 count to tie the game. Broncos' closer Drew Mahan entered the game with a 1-0 count against Ferreira and walked in the winning run on a 3-2 count to end the game.

Freshman Glenn Witkowski (2-2) earned the win after hurling 1.1 innings of scoreless relief. Senior D.J. Ackley earned the no-decision after giving up four runs (three earned) on seven hits with no walks and eight strikeouts in 5.1 innings.

McArdle led the Dolphins by going 3-for-4 at the plate while freshman third baseman Chuck Opachich had also added two hits. Senior left fielder Pete Clifford tied his career-high 16 game hitting streak with a double in the first inning.

Derek Schlecker (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing two runs on no hits with four walks and a strikeout in one inning of relief. Matt Abro led the Bronco offense with two hits.

WMU jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Matt Abro drove in a run with an RBI grounder to third.

JU evened the contest in the bottom of the first when McCallister hit an RBI single to right field. With two outs, Clifford dropped a double down the left-field line and then scored on the next at-bat when McCallister ripped a single up the middle.

The Broncos went ahead 2-1 in the top of the fourth when Abro scored from third on a balk by Ackley. Abro led off the inning with a single to center and then advanced to third when Ackley's pick-off attempt at first went into right field.

The Dolphins evened the game in the bottom of the fourth when senior Logan James laced an RBI base hit to right center with two outs.

Senior first baseman Ryan McArdle led off the inning with a single to left and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. After two consecutive strikeouts, James hit a 3-2 pitch to the right center gap.

JU took its first lead, 3-2, in the bottom of the fifth when McArdle hit an RBI single to left with two outs. With one out, freshman third baseman Chuck Opachich singled through the right side and then stole second base. After a walk to McCallister, McArdle pulled a ball through the left side to score Opachich.

WMU rallied for 4-3 advantage in the top of the sixth when pinch-hitter Chris Lewis hit a two-run single to left with two outs and the bases loaded.

The Dolphins will next travel to Bethune-Cookman on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m.