FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2007
McCallister's walk-off single in the 11th lifts Baseball to 7-6 win over #18 Stetson
April 20, 2007
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After seeing senior left fielder Pete Clifford walked intentionally for the third time, senior right fielder Mike McCallister made a statement with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning to lead the JU baseball team to a 7-6 win over No. 18 Stetson, Friday evening at Alexander Brest Field.
JU (24-19, 9-7) got its second win against a ranked opponent and rallied from two deficits after getting a major lift in the top of the 11th when senior second baseman Logan James made a spectacular snare to induced an inning-ending double-play.
Stetson (30-11, 13-3), which dropped its second straight game despite rallying for a run in the bottom of the ninth to extend the game, allowed four Dolphins runs on two errors.
With the game tied, 6-6, junior shortstop Matt Lopez led off the bottom of the 11th with a single through the left side. Lopez moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior center fielder Kevin Ferreira before freshman designated hitter Chuck Opachich put runners on the corners with a single through the left side.
After Clifford was intentionally walked to load the bases, McCallister hit a sharp grounder back up the middle to end the contest.
"We have been looking for the big break all year long and things finally went our way tonight," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "It was very fitting for us to win the game in the 11th after the play that Logan made to end the inning. Those are the kind of plays that give you a boost coming back to the plate and McCallister made sure it wasn't in vain."
Junior Matt Davis (2-1) got the win after allowing a run on three hits with no walks and two strikeouts in three innings of relief. Sophomore Tim Brown added 2.2 innings of solid relief as well as the Dolphins struck out nine batters and walked only two.
Senior Justin Young got the no-decision after allowing four runs on nine hits with a walk and four strikeouts in 5.1 innings. He also had his scoreless inning streak snapped at 12 when he allowed a run in the second inning.
Opachich provided the offense for JU by going a career-high 5-for-5 with an RBI, while Lopez added two hits. McCallister finished with a team-high two RBI.
Justin Dechert (3-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing a run on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 2.1 innings of relief. Corey Kluber also got a no-decision after allowing six runs (two earned) on nine hits with two walks and six strikeouts in eight innings. Brian Pruitt led the offense by going 3-for-5 with four RBI.
JU jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning when Lopez hit an RBI double down the third-base line and senior second baseman Logan James scored from third on a wild pitch by Kluber with two outs.
With two outs, senior catcher Donnie Vickers laced an 0-2 pitch to center field and then moved to second when Casey Frawley misplayed a grounder by James to second. In the next at-bat, Lopez hit a shot off the glove of a diving Braedyn Pruitt at third base to score Vickers. With Ferreira batting, Kluber's breaking ball in the dirt got away from catcher Josh Clendenin to allow James to score.
Stetson made it 3-2 in the top of the third when Justin Bass hit an RBI double to left center and Brian Pruitt laced a two-run single to left field with two outs.
The Dolphin retook the lead, 4-3, in the bottom of the fifth when Opachich hit an RBI double and senior center fielder Mike McCallister drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to center.
James led off the inning with a walk and then moved to second after Lopez what hit by a Kluber pitch on a bunt attempt. With one out, Opachich went with a pitch and sliced a ball into the right-field corner to drive in James. After Clifford was walked intentionally to load the bases, McCallister hit a high drive to center on a 1-2 count to give the Dolphins the lead.
The Hatters tied the contest, 4-4, in the top of the sixth when Kevin Johnson hit an RBI single up the middle. Stetson had runners on second and third with only one out but Brown entered the game and got Clendenin at third on a grounder to first and struck out Fawley looking to end the inning.
Stetson took a 5-4 lead in the top of the seventh when Brian Pruitt hit an RBI single to center. The Hatters still had runners on first and second with only one out but Brown got Jeremy Cruz to strike out, and Clendenin to ground out, to end the inning.
JU recaptured the lead, 6-5, in the bottom of the seventh when two runs scored on a throwing error by Clendenin on an attempted double play.
Ferreira hit a base hit through the left side to lead off the inning and then reached second when Opachich's fly ball dropped into right field. Clifford loaded the bases with a bunt hit in between Kluber and Clendenin in front of the plate. In the next at-bat, McCallister looked to hit a routine double-play to third but Clendenin's throw to first from the plate sailed into right field, allowing two runs to score.
Trailing in the ninth, the Hatters evened up the game with an RBI single by Brian Pruitt with two outs and a runner on second base.
The Dolphins and Hatters will play game two of the series on Saturday at 1 p.m. The contest can be heard live on WZNZ, AM 1460 with Barry Milligan calling all the action. The Dolphin Pre-Game Show will air at 12:45 p.m.