FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2007
Baseball ends curse at Varsity Field with 2-1 win over Gardner-Webb
April 13, 2007
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. - Senior catcher Donnie Vickers hit a two-run homer in the bottom top of the ninth and junior Matt Davis worked his way out of trouble with his fifth save to lead the JU baseball team to its first win at Gardner-Webb with a 2-1 decision, Friday afternoon at Varsity Field.
JU (22-18, 7-6) won its fourth consecutive Atlantic Sun Conference game and won its first game at Gardner-Webb after losing six straight contests.
Gardner-Webb (13-24, 3-10) rallied for one run in the bottom of the ninth but pinch hitter Jon Crockett struck out swinging on a 3-2 count with a runner on third base to end the game.
Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the ninth, Jeremiah Lokken hit a single through the right side and then moved to third when Davis' pick-off attempt went down the line. In the next at-bat, Cook hit a triple into the right center gap to make it 2-1.
Davis got the first out of the inning when Josh Drewery struck out swinging. With the infield drawn in, Justin Lloyd grounded to senior Logan James at second. James went home and Vickers tagged out Cook at the plate for the second out. After Matt Rizzuto walked on a 3-2 pitch, Davis got Crockett to strike out to end the game.
Sophomore Tim Brown (3-2) got the win after retiring all three batters he faced in the bottom of the eighth inning. Davis allowed one run in the ninth but struck out two batters to save the game. Senior Justin Young earned the no-decision despite scattering four hits in seven scoreless innings of work.
"This is a hard place to play," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "For us to win the way we did against some tough adversity is a great feeling. Vickers came up with a big hit, Young and Brown kept them off balance and Davis made some big pitches in the ninth."
Vickers led the Dolphins by going 3-for-4 with his second home run of the season. Senior right fielder Mike McCallister, junior shortstop Matt Lopez and freshman third baseman Chuck Opachich each finished with multiple hits.
Webster Beal (1-5) was tagged with the loss after allowing two runs on 10 hits with four strikeouts in a career-high 8.1 innings of work. Daniel Cook led the Bulldogs with two hits and an RBI.
The Bulldogs threatened in the bottom of the third with runners on second and third with no outs but Young got Shea Harris to ground out to third, struck out Joey Testa swinging and got Jamaal Kinard to ground out to second to end the inning.
GWU look poised again in the bottom of the fourth with the bases loaded and two out but Young got Matt Rizzuto to strike out swinging to end the threat.
The Dolphins took the lead after a two-run home run by Vickers over the left-field wall. McCallister led off the inning with a single up the middle. With one out, Vickers clubbed a 1-1 pitch over the wall for the lead.
The Dolphins and Bulldogs will complete their series on Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at noon.