SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 2007
Early deficit proves costly in baseball's 6-4 loss to Kennesaw State in game one
March 24, 2007
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A five-run first inning by Kennesaw State became in insurmountable feat for the JU baseball as the Dolphins cut the deficit to within two but eventually fell to the Owls, 6-4, Saturday afternoon in game one of a doubleheader at Alexander Brest Field.
JU (17-14, 2-3) had its three-game winning streak snapped despite out hitting the Owls 10-8 in the contest.
Kennesaw State (15-9, 1-1) won its first game against the Dolphins and tallied its first conference win of the 2007 season.
Freshman Carson Andrew (2-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing five runs on five hits with a walk in 0.2 innings. The Dolphin bullpen of freshman Glenn Witkowski and juniors Adam Rapoza and David Yates did a splendid job of keeping the Dolphins in the contest by allowing only one run on three hits with a walk and six strikeouts.
Freshman third baseman Chuck Opachich led the JU offense by going 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI Junior center fielder Kevin Ferreira and senior first baseman Ryan McArdle also finished with two hits apiece. Senior right fielder Mike McCallister had his 10-game winning streak snapped at 10 games after finishing 0-for-4.
Casey Rogers (3-0) earned the win after allowing only one run on four hits with a walk and six strikeouts in four innings. Justin Freeman notched his sixth save of the year after closing out the final two outs of the ninth.
KSU jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the top of the first when Jace Whitmer hit an RBI double to left, Clint Roques hit an RBI single to right, Jerome Wooley drove in a run with an infield single to second and Andrew Martin laced a two-run double down the right-field line. All five runs came with two outs in the inning and force Andrew out of the game.
The Dolphins cut the deficit to 5-2 in the bottom of the first after an RBI double down the third base line by freshman third baseman Chuck Opachich and a sacrifice fly to right by senior left fielder Pete Clifford.
Junior center fielder Kevin Ferreira led off the inning with a single up the middle and then stole second. Opachich followed with a high chopper down the third-base line which bounced over the glove of Matt Dallas at third to drive in Ferreira. After Opachich advanced to third on a wild pitch by Sales, Clifford hit a hard liner into right field to score the second run.
The Owls pushed the average to 6-2 in the top of the second after a two-out RBI double down the left-field line by Whitmer.
JU cut the deficit to 6-3 in the bottom of the fifth when senior first baseman Ryan McArdle hit a sacrifice fly to left field.
Ferreira led off the inning with base hit to center and then moved to second after Opachich drew a walk. After Ferreira moved to third on fly ball to center by Clifford, McArdle hit a fly ball to left to drive in Ferreira
JU cut the lead to 6-4 in the bottom of the eighth when freshman Alex Martinez hit an RBI grounder to first base with the bases loaded and one out.
McArdle led off the inning with a single up the middle and was pulled for sophomore pinch runner Brad Simmons. Sophomore Dan Maier followed with a base hit to right field and both runner advanced a base on a beautiful bunt base hit past Rogers towards short. With one out and the bases loaded, Martinez nubbed a ball up the first base line to score Simmons.