SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2007
Baseball can't hold on in 6-5 series finale loss to Belmont
March 18, 2007
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Despite scoring five unanswered runs to takes its first lead in the sixth, the JU baseball team could not hold on for the series win as Belmont rallied for two runs in the bottom of the eighth for a 6-5 victory, Sunday afternoon in Atlantic Sun Conference action at Greer Stadium.
JU (14-13, 1-2) dropped its first series to the Bruins for the first time since 2004, despite finishing with a game-high nine hits and only walking four batters.
Belmont (12-6, 2-1) hit two home runs in the game to plate three in the first two innings and stranded only six runners compared to eight by the Dolphins.
"This was a tough game to swallow because we had everything set up the way we wanted late in the game," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "It's even harder to take when we beat ourselves and gave them too many opportunities in back-to-back games."
Sophomore Tim Brown (1-2) took the loss after allowing two runs on no hits with a walk and hitting a batter in 0.2 innings of relief. Senior Justin Young got the no-decision after allowing three runs on three hits with three walks and two strikeouts in four innings.
Junior center fielder Kevin Ferreira and senior right fielder Mike McCallister each finished with two hits to lead the Dolphin offense. Senior left fielder Pete Clifford had his career high hitting streak snapped at 18 games after going 0-for-3 in the contest.
Ben Meador (3-2) earned the win after hurling two innings of perfect relief. Chris Manning notched his fourth save of the season by throwing a perfect ninth. Derek Wiley and Daniel Wagner each finished with two hits to lead the Bruins.
The Bruins took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Ben Petsch hit a solo home run down the left-field line on a 1-0 pitch.
Belmont increased the lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the second after Brandon McCall went with an outside fastball for a two-run homer over the right-center wall.
The Dolphins evened the contest, 3-3, in the top of the fourth when McArdle hit an RBI single up the middle, sophomore designated hitter Dan Maier drove in a run with a groundout and senior catcher Donnie Vickers hit a sacrifice fly to right.
Clifford was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and then moved to second after a sharp base hit to center by McCallister. In the next at-bat, McArdle laced a shot back up the middle to drive in Clifford and then moved to second on a double steal. Maier followed with a poke grounder to second to plate McCallister and Vickers hit a towering fly ball in foul territory to right to even the contest.
JU took its first lead of the game, 5-3, in the top of the sixth when senior second baseman Logan James hit an RBI double to right and Ferreira hit an RBI single up the middle.
With one out, Vickers hit a single to left field and then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior shortstop Matt Gardner. In the next at-bat James pulled a ball down the right-field line to score Vickers and then came home immediately when Ferreira followed with a single off the second base bag.
The Bruins retook the lead, 6-5, in the bottom of the eighth after an RBI single to right by Daniel Wagner and a sacrifice fly to left by Packy Elkins.
JU will next face Bethune-Cookman at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Tuesday at 6 p.m.