March 21, 2007
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -
Click here to listen to the Dolphins against No. 1 Florida State tonight, beginning at 5:45 p.m. with the Dolphin Pre-Game Show.
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After defeating Bethune-Cookman on
Tuesday, the JU baseball team (15-13) will begin its
three-game season series against No. 1 Florida State
at Alexander Brest Field on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
This will be the only contest which will be
played in Jacksonville as the remaining two games
will be at Dick Howser Stadium.
The contest will be heard live on WZNZ,
ESPN 1460, with Barry Milligan calling all of the action
and Joel Lamp providing color commentary. The
Dolphin Pre-Game Show will air 15 minutes prior to
Junior closer Matt Davis missed the first
23 games of the year after having elbow surgery in the
offseason and his presence was missed.
Since taking over the role last season,
Davis notched six saves including four in the final
month of the season. His biggest was against Sacred
Heart to seal JU's lone win in the 2006 NCAA
In his absence in 2007, the bullpen
has gone by committee and got some good results
from senior Justin Young (two saves), sophomore
Josh Burrows (one save) and freshman Glenn
Witkowski (one save). As a whole, the Dolphins went
3-for-6 in save opportunities and allowed the most
runs during the year (21) in the ninth inning.
With the return of Davis, Young can move
back into the starting rotation, Burrows is now the jack-
of-all trades out of the bullpen and Witkowski will
become the set-up man.
In his first appearance of the year, Davis
notched his first save after closing the ninth inning in
an 8-7 win over Bethune-Cookman on March 13. He
earned his second save in as many opportunities by
hurling 1.2 innings of relief at Belmont on March 16.
On Tuesday, he got number three after hurling two
innings of shutout relief.
Junior starter Matt Gardner has gone full
circle with the Dolphins. A transfer from Chabot
College, Gardner spent one season at Fresno State
under current Dolphin pitching coach Tim Montez
before reconnecting with his former mentor in 2007.
A pitcher and infielder, Gardner had been
relegated to strictly pitching duties with a spot in the
weekend rotation but things have changed.
After making nine appearances on the hill
with seven starts, Gardner made his first start at
shortstop on March 18 due to injuries to juniors Matt
Lopez (thumb) and Ben Kerr (quad).
Touted as the Dolphins' best fielder
entering the season, Gardner proved the statement to
be correct by not committing an error in two starts.
Against Bethune-Cookman, he tallied his
first hits of the season by going 2-for-5 with a double
and two runs scored.
Gardner will be a part of the weekend
rotation but will fill in at short when the opportunities
Senior right fielder Mike McCallister was a
nice addition to the Dolphin lineup in 2006 after
spending the first two years of his career at Alabama.
Since he returned home, he is proving to be an
integral part of the lineup again in 2007.
The key word to describe the Green Cove
Springs native this year is "consistency". Through 28
games, he has not recorded a hit in only six contests
and has never had his average dip below .300 for the
Included is a 10-game hitting streak and
an eight-game hitting streak that he is currently on.
During his recent streak, he is batting .484 (15-31)
with three doubles, a triple, a home run, 11 RBI, 25
total bases, a .806 slugging percentage and a .538 on-
base percentage. He has also raised his overall
batting average over 40 points (.329-.370) during that
Through 28 games, McCallister leads the
squad with a .370 average, 40 hits and three triples.
Last season, McCallister led the Dolphins
with 10 home runs and was second on the squad with
54 RBI and a .541 slugging percentage.
Senior left fielder Pete Clifford had his
career-high 18-game hitting streak snapped on March
18 after going 0-for-3 against Belmont. Junior
shortstop Ben Kerr has missed the last two games
with a quad injury. Senior starter Matt Dobbins made
his first appearance in two weeks (back) by going four
innings on Tuesday at Bethune-Cookman. Junior
shortstop Matt Lopez will be out of the lineup
indefinitely after suffering a thumb injury against UNC-
Greensboro on March 10. Junior outfielder's John
Tiner (knee) and Stewart Kelly (achilles) are also out