April 5, 2007
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -
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After dropping its third straight Atlantic Sun
Conference series for the first time since 2005, the JU
baseball team (18-17, 3-6) will look to get back into
the hunt this weekend as the Dolphins host Campbell
The first two games of the series will be a
doubleheader on Friday at 3:30 p.m. before the
conclusion of the series on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Game two of the doubleheader and the
series finale will be heard live on WZNZ, ESPN 1460,
with Barry Milligan calling all of the action and Josh
Ellis providing color commentary. The Dolphin Pre-
Game Show will air 15 minutes prior to first pitch.
Back to the hill
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 changed a little.
After making 10 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 making several game-saving stops in
Against Bethune-Cookman, he tallied his
first hits of the season by going 2-for-5 with a double
and two runs scored.
With the return of Lopez, Gardner made
his return to the starting rotation on March 31 at
Mercer. Not only was there no rust, but he only
managed to throw the Dolphins' first shutout since
Dennis Robinson in 2004.
Through nine innings, he scattered five
hits while walking two and striking out two batters. He
also snapped A-Sun Preseason Player of the Year
Josh Thompson's 19-game hitting streak.
Senior second baseman Logan James is
the glue that holds the Dolphins together. A classic
throw back, James does all of the little things to win
He is currently tied for the team lead with
26 walks and four sacrifice bunts, leads the squad
with 110 assists in the infield and has not missed a
pitch in the field (even with a dislocated finger on his
Not only has James been a steady force in
the field and in the dugout, he is also swinging the
hottest bat in the last 10 games and has slowly
increase his batting average over 100 points (.182-
In his last 10 games, he is .324 (11-26)
with a double, four RBI, 12 total bases, and a .410 on-
With his average at .182 on Feb. 23, he
tied a career high with three hits at South Alabama
and has been consistent at the plate ever since.
In 24 games, James is batting .310 (22-
71) with 19 RBI, 21 walks and a .468 on-base
average. He has also gone without a hit in only eight
The Dolphins have dropped their third
consecutive A-Sun series for the first time since 2005,
two of those series loses were due to late rallies in
which JU held the lead going into the eighth inning
(one at Belmont, two at Mercer).
The Dolphins played in their first extra inning
contest of the season on March 30.
The 13 inning contest against Mercer was the
longest game played by the Dolphins since an 8-7 win
over Western Michigan in 14 innings on Feb. 28, 1998
at Alexander Brest Field.
Senior catcher Jimmy Potucek had a career on
March 31 after going 3-for-7 with two doubles and his
first career home run in a doubleheader against
Junior Matt Dobbins hurled 4.1 innings of
scoreless relief in the series finale against the Bears,
including three consecutive innings in which he
induced a double play to get the final two outs.
The Dolphins's win over No. 1 Florida State was
the JU's first victory over a ranked opponent since a 10-
9 decision at No. 18 UCF on March 28, 2005.
Junior outfielder Stewart Kelly (achilles) is out