SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2007
Mistakes prove costly as Baseball falls to Belmont, 11-7
March 17, 2007
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Dolphins failed to help their own cause as the JU baseball team committed four errors in the field and the pitching staff walked seven batters to drop an 11-7 contest to Belmont, Saturday afternoon in Atlantic Sun Conference action at Greer Stadium.
JU (14-12, 1-1), which had its four-game winning streak snapped, pounded out seven runs on 10 hits in the contest. Belmont (11-6, 1-1) ended a season-high three game slide by scoring six runs in the first two innings.
Freshman Carson Andrew (2-1) suffered his first loss of the season despite allowing only two earned runs (seven total) on five hits with five walks and six strikeouts in 3.2 innings.
Senior left fielder Pete Clifford and junior shortstop Ben Kerr each finished with two hits to lead the Dolphins. Clifford extended his career high hitting streak to 18 games. Senior Mike McCallister led the squad with three RBI, including his first home run of the season.
Josh Moffitt (3-1) earned the win despite allowing six runs on eight hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in 5.1 innings of work. Ben Meador notched his first save after allowing only one hit in two innings of relief.
Daniel Wagner had a huge game for the Bruins by going 4-for-5 with a double and four RBI.
"You can't expect to win a game in this conference if you have four errors and you put runners on base," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "We swung the bats pretty well but it's hard to come back in a game if you can't get a lot of three and outs for your opponent."
Belmont jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first after an RBI single to center by Daniel Wagner while also taking advantage of three walks, a hit batsman and two Dolphin errors.
The Bruins increased the lead to 6-0 in the bottom of the second when Derek Wiley hit a two-run home run over the left field wall with two outs.
The Dolphins cut the deficit to 6-4 in the top of the third when freshman third baseman Chuck Opachich hit a sacrifice fly to right, senior second baseman Logan James scored on a Moffitt wild pitch and McCallister hit a two-run homer down the left-field line.
Junior shortstop Ben Kerr and James hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning before junior center fielder Kevin Ferreira advanced both runners with a bunt to third. After Opachich drove in Kerr with a drive to right field, James scored when Moffitt's curve ball bounced in front of the plate. In the next at-bat, McCallister crushed a 2-2 pitch off the auxiliary scoreboard in left field.
Belmont increase the lead to 7-4 in the bottom of the fourth when Wagner drove in a run with an RBI single up the middle to take advantage of another error by the Dolphins with two outs.
JU cut the lead to 7-5 in the top of the fifth when Clifford hit a sacrifice fly to center to drive in Ferreira. With one out, Ferreira and Opachich recorded back-to-back hits before Clifford skied a pitch to center field.
The Bruins increased the margin to 9-5 in the bottom of the fifth when Ben Petsch hit an RBI single up the middle and Wilson Tucker hit an RBI double to right center, all with two outs.
The Dolphins made it 9-6 in the top of the sixth when Ferreira hit a sacrifice fly to center to drive home senior first baseman Thomas LePage.
With one out LePage and Kerr recorded back-to-back hits before James drew a walk to load the bases. In the next at-bat, Ferreira put a charge into a ball to center, which Testa had to jump up over his shoulder to grab, to plate the run.
Belmont increased the lead to 11-7 in the bottom of the eighth when Wagner hit a two-run single through the right side with the bases loaded and the Dolphin defense drawn in. The Bruins still threatened with the bases loaded and no one out but junior Adam Rapoza entered the contest and recorded three straight outs to end the inning.
JU and Belmont will conclude its series on Sunday at 2 p.m. EST. The contest can be heard live on WZNZ, ESPN 1460 with Barry Milligan calling all of the action. The Dolphins Pre-Game show will air at 1:45 p.m. EST.