April 12, 2007
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -
After winning its first A-Sun series of the season, the
JU baseball team (21-18, 6-6) will look to end a six-
game losing skid at Varsity Field as the Dolphins
travel to Gardner-Webb (13-23, 3-9) this weekend.
The first game of the series will be on
Friday at 3 p.m. before concluding with a
doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Jolting the lineup
Junior center fielder Kevin Ferreira was
envisioned to leadoff the top of the Dolphin lineup,
create havoc on the base paths and be a ball hawk in
Although all three categories did not click
at the same time, Ferreira is now hitting on all
cylinders and even adding some extra pop at the plate
over the last five games.
In his last 18 games, he has raised his
average over 50 points (.250-.301) after leading the
squad with a .352 average (25-71), including a
season-high seven-game hitting streak in which he
has gone 14-for-28 (.500). He also tied a career high
with three hits in three consecutive games (March 31-
Once he gets on base, Ferreira has
developed his base stealing abilities by ranking
second on the squad with 11 bags. After being picked
off three times by Florida A&M in the season opener,
he has only been thrown out once.
In the field, he has committed only one
error and has run down several fly balls which would
have dropped in for base hits.
Justin case you missed it
Senior starter Justin Young may be in his
last season at JU but he is solidifying his career after
college with his sudden transition from everyday
center fielder to the ace of the staff.
After taking the hill for the first time last
season, he finished the year a solid 2-2 mark and a
1.66 ERA with three saves, 26 strikeouts and a .199
opponents batting average.
In 2007, Young started the season as the
closer due to the absence of Matt Davis. In six
appearances, he finished with a 1-1 record and a 7.88
ERA with two saves, eight strikeouts and a .303
opponent batting average in eight innings.
Since moving to the starting rotation,
where he is more comfortable in his preparation, he is
3-2 with a 2.58 ERA, 30 strikeouts and a .235
opponent batting average in 45.1 innings.
He has also tallied two complete-game
victories (Kennesaw State & Campbell) during that
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 was
back in 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
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.
JU trails the all-time series against Gardner-Webb, 3-
9, but won its first series against the Bulldogs (2-1)
last season at Alexander Brest Field.
The Dolphins will look to end a six-game losing
streak at Varsity Field as JU has never won a game in
Boling Springs, N.C.
The Dolphins have had a starting pitcher go the
distance in three consecutive weekends: senior Justin
Young (Kennesaw State, Campbell) and junior Matt
Senior left fielder Pete Clifford and junior center
fielder Kevin Ferreira each enter this weekend with a
team-high seven-game hitting streak.
Gardner-Webb enters the weekend having five-
consecutive games and two consecutive A-Sun
matchups (Stetson, Belmont). The only series won by
the Bulldogs was against Lipscomb (2-1).