Baseball falls to Gardner-Webb, 14-11, in series finale

April 14, 2007

Box Score

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. - Senior first baseman Ryan McArdle finished 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and five RBI but the Dolphins could not hold on to a late lead as the JU baseball team fell to Gardner-Webb, 14-11, Saturday afternoon in game two of a doubleheader at Varsity Field.

JU (23-19, 8-7) won its second straight Atlantic Sun Conference series but had its five-game conference steak snapped despite scoring 11 runs on 15 hits.

Gardner-Webb (14-25, 4-11) snapped a seven-game slide by scoring six runs in the second, four runs in the fifth, two runs in the sixth and two runs in the eighth.

"We had a good weekend but we were close to a great one," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "Leaving here with two wins is something we have never done. Now we can carry some momentum into a big series with Stetson."

Sophomore Josh Burrows (1-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing two runs on two his with a walk in 0.2 innings. Along with McArdle, senior second baseman Logan James finished with three hits in the contest.

Jonathan Ban (3-3) earned the win after allowing one run on five hits with no walks and five strikeouts in four innings of relief. Daniel Cook and Nate McDonald each went 4-for-4 from the plate to lead the Bulldogs.

The Dolphins took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when McArdle hit an RBI single through the left side.

Freshman third baseman Chuck Opachich led off the game with a single to center and then moved to second on a bunt single past the mound by senior left fielder Pete Clifford. After Clifford was out on interference on a sacrifice bunt by senior right fielder Mike McCallister, McArdle followed with a single through the left side to score Opachich from second.

The Bulldogs took a 6-1 lead in the bottom of the second after a two-run single to center by Shea Harris, a two-run single down the right-field line by Matt Rizzuto, an RBI single to left by Daniel Cooke and an RBI double off the left-field wall by Justin Loyd.

JU cut the deficit to 6-3 in the top of the third when McCallister hit an RBI ground out and freshman designated hitter Alex Martinez knocked an RBI single through the left side with two outs.

Opachich reached on a fielding error by Drewery at short to lead off the inning and then moved to third on a double to left by Clifford. McCallister drove in Opachich with a slow chopper to third before Martinez followed with a single through the left side on a 3-2 pitch.

The Dolphins took a 7-6 lead in the top of the fourth after a run scoring error on a failed pick-off attempt and a three-run double by McArdle.

Junior shortstop Matt Lopez led off the inning with a walk and then advanced to third on a double down the right-field line by senior second baseman Logan James. After an intentional walk to Clifford, Lopez scored from third when Harris' attempt to get James at second rolled into center field. McCallister walked to load the bases and McArdle followed with a bases-clearing drive to left on the first pitch of the at-bat.

JU pushed the lead to 10-6 in the top of the fifth when James hit an RBI single and Clifford and McCallister each drove in a run with sacrifice flies.

Ferreira led off the inning with a single off the glove of reliever Taylor Brooks and then proceeded to steal second and third base. After a walk to Lopez, James pulled a ball through the right side to score Ferreira. Opachich loaded the bases with a bunt single to the mound before Clifford hit a towering fly ball to right field. After each runner tagged on Clifford's at-bat, McCallister followed with a fly ball to center to drive in Lopez.

GWU evened the contest, 10-10, in the bottom of the fifth after a solo home run by Cooke, a sacrifice fly by Drewery, an RBI triple by pinch-hitter Jeremiah Lokken and an RBI infield single to third by pinch-hitter Jay McConnell.

The Bulldogs took 12-10 lead in the bottom of the sixth when Drewery drove in a run with a grounder to short with the bases loaded and Lokken hit an RBI double down the right-field line.

The Dolphins cut the deficit to 12-11 in the top of the eighth when McArdle hit a solo home run over the left-center wall. For McArdle, it was his sixth home run of the season. The Bulldogs got two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth when Cooke scored from third on a wild pitch and Nathan McDonald hit an RBI single down the left-field line.

The Dolphins will return to action on Friday as they host Stetson at 6:30 p.m. at Alexander Brest Field.