Baseball holds off Gardner-Webb, 5-4, in game one

April 14, 2007

Box Score

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. - Junior shortstop Matt Lopez went 2-for-3 with a triple, a two-run homer and a suicide squeeze while junior Matt Davis tallied his second save of the series to lead the JU baseball team to a 5-4 win over Gardner-Webb, Saturday afternoon in game one of a doubleheader at Varsity Field.

JU (23-18, 8-6) won its second straight Atlantic Sun Conference series, its first series at Varsity Field and its sixth consecutive game in conference play.

Gardner-Webb (13-25, 3-11) lost its seventh consecutive game despite having the tying run on second base in the bottom of the ninth for the second consecutive contest.

Junior Matt Gardner (5-2) earned the win after allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work. Freshman Carson Andrew hurled 2.1 innings of scoreless relief before handing things over to Davis in the ninth. For Davis, it was his sixth save of the season.

Senior catcher Donnie Vickers also finished with multiple hits to lead the Dolphin offense.

Trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the ninth, Matt Rizzuto led off with a solo home run to left-center field on the first pitch from Davis. With two outs, Davis hit Jamaal Kinard on an 0-1 pitch and let him move to second on a failed pick-off attempt to first. David ended the game by forcing Daniel Cooke to ground out to senior third baseman Thomas LePage.

Ben Campbell (3-4) was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs on 10 hits with no walks and three strikeouts in 6.1 innings. Josh Drewery went 3-for-4 with two RBI to lead the Bulldogs at the plate.

The Dolphins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second when Lopez connected on his first home run of the season. With two outs, junior center fielder Kevin Ferreira knocked a base hit off the second base bag. Lopez followed with a two-run shot over the left-center wall on a 2-0 pitch.

GWU cut the deficit to 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth when Drewery hit an RBI single up the middle with runners on first and second and one out. After Drewery was gunned down trying to reach second on the play, Gardner got Justin Loyd to fly out to center with a runner on third base.

JU pushed the lead to 4-1 in the top of the sixth when senior Ryan McArdle hit an RBI double and freshman designated hitter Alex Martinez connected on an RBI single.

With one out, senior right fielder Mike McCallister hit a single to center and then scored from first when McArdle laced a drive into the right-field corner. After moving to third on a single through the left side by senior catcher Donnie Vickers, McArdle scored when Martinez hit the first pitch into center for a base hit.

The Bulldogs cut the margin to 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth when Jamaal Kinard scored on a double play with the bases loaded and no outs and Drewery hit an RBI single past the pitcher's mound.

GWU threatened with a runner on third with two outs in the bottom of the eighth but Andrew got Loyd to ground out to second to end the inning.

The Dolphins added an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Lopez drove in pinch hitter Brad Simmons from third with a squeeze bunt.

Simmons led off the inning with a double to right and then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ferreira. In the next at-bat, Lopez poked the first pitch up the first-base line to score the run.