SUNDAY, APRIL 22, 2007
Baseball sees #18 Stetson rally again, 6-4, to win series
April 22, 2007
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - With both starters run out of the game in the first inning, No. 18 Stetson won the battle of the bullpens as the Hatters rallied for three runs in the final two innings to defeat the JU baseball team, 6-4, Sunday afternoon in the series finale at Alexander Brest Field.
JU (24-21, 9-9) held a 4-3 lead heading into the eighth inning with strong performances out of the bullpen but the Dolphins were held hitless through seven innings and left nine runners on base.
Stetson (32-11, 15-3) kept it's A-Sun series winning streak alive by pounding out 13 hits while the Hatter bullpen combined for 8.1 innings of scoreless relief.
The Dolphins threatened with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth but Hatter reliever Justin Dechert got a fly ball to end the game.
"We had ourselves set up in every game this weekend but we could not finish them off," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "They are a gritty ball club that finds a way to do the little things to win games. We need to find a way to either extend a lead or hold a lead if we are going to turn things around."
Sophomore Tim Brown (3-3) was tagged with the loss after allowing two runs on two hits with two walks and a strike out in two innings of relief. Junior Adam Rapoza kept the Dolphins in it by hurling a career-high 5.1 innings of scoreless relief.
Offensively, senior right fielder Pete Clifford and senior second baseman Logan James each finished with two hits. Senior catcher Donnie Vickers drove in a team-high two runs with a single in the first inning.
Dechert (4-2) earned the win after scattering two hits with a walk and a strikeout in 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. Justin Bass led the Hatters with two hits and two RBI, while Kevin Mierzwinski and Erich Holland each added two hits.
The Hatters jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first when Bass hit a two-run single to center with the bases loaded and Mierswinski blooped an RBI single to center with runners on first and second and two outs.
The Dolphins took a 4-3 in the bottom of the first when senior first baseman Ryan McArdle hit a sacrifice fly to right with the bases loaded, Vickers hit a two-run single to right with the bases loaded and James hit an RBI single to center with two outs.
Junior center fielder Kevin Ferreira and freshman designated hitter Chuck Opachich each drew a walk to lead off the inning and then Clifford loaded the bases when his fly ball to left dropped in for a single. With one out, McArdle hit a fly ball to right to drive in Ferreira and senior third baseman Thomas LePage drew a walk to reload the bases. In the next at-bat, Vickers fisted a ball into right field for a two-run single and James laced an RBI single to center to give the Dolphins the lead.
Stetson took a 5-4 lead in the top of the eighth when Holland hit an RBI single to center and Casey Frawley drew a bases loaded walk with two outs.
The Hatters added an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Jeremy Cruz scored from third on a fielding error with two outs.