SATURDAY, MAY 19, 2007
Baseball gets past Lipscomb, 7-6, in the ninth
May 19, 2007
Senior second baseman Logan James drew a walk-off walk with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth to lead the JU baseball team to a 7-6 win over Lipscomb, Saturday afternoon in the regular-season finale at John Sessions Stadium.
JU (30-25, 15-12) reached the 30 win plateau for the 12th time under head coach Terry Alexander and won its second consecutive season to end the season.
Lipscomb (28-28, 12-15) rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth to tie things up but could not hold the Dolphins to send things into extra frames.
"It's always a positive to win your last game of the regular season, especially at home," said Alexander. "Lipscomb made things interesting for us but we found another way to win the game. Now we can finally turn our complete focus to the tournament and what we need to do."
With the contest tied (6-6) in the bottom of the ninth, senior first baseman Ryan McArdle led off the inning with a single to right. After senior third baseman Thomas LePage grounded into a fielder's choice at second, he advanced to second after a walk to senior right fielder Mike McCallister. With two outs, junior shortstop Ben Kerr loaded the bases with a single to short before James drew the game-winning RBI walk on a 3-1 pitch.
Sophomore Tim Brown (4-3) got the win after allowing two runs (none earned) on three hits with no walks and four strikeouts in 3.1 innings of relief. Freshman Carson Andrew got the no-decision despite allowing no runs on five hits with no walks and three strikeouts in five innings of work.
Brandon McClurg (4-3) was tagged with the loss despite allowing only one run on two hits with four walks and two strikeouts in 2.2 innings of relief. Shane Simpkins led the Bisons by going 3-for-4 with two RBI.
The Dolphins took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first when McCallister hit a two-run single and Simmons connected on a two-run double to right center.
With one out, Opachich hit a double to center before senior left fielder Pete Clifford drew a walk. After both runners made the double steal, LePage drew a walk to load the bases. McCallister followed with a single up the middle to drive in two runs before Simmons cleared the bases with a double to the right center gap.
JU made it 6-0 in the bottom of the fourth when senior second baseman Logan James hit an RBI single to right and Opachich hit an RBI single to center.
Simmons led off the inning with a double down the right-field line before advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt by Kerr. In the next at-bat, James pulled a ball through the right side to score Simmons. After a stolen base by James and a walk to junior center fielder Kevin Ferreira, both runners advanced on a double steal. Opachich followed with a single into center to score James.
Lispcomb cut the contest to 6-4 in the top of the sixth when an RBI single to left by Clay Lehning, a single through the right side by Branden Cadavid and a two-run single to left by Allen Bolden. All four runs were scored with two outs in the inning.
The Bisons evened the contest, 6-6, in the top of the ninth when Shane Simpkins hit a two-run single past the first base line with two outs.
The No. 4 seeded Dolphins will face No. 3 seed Belmont at Melching Field on Wednesday at 3 p.m. in the first round of the 2007 Atlantic Sun Conference Championship presented by Progress Energy. The contest can be heard live on WZNZ, AM 1460 with Barry Milligan calling all of the action. The Dolphin Pre-Game Show will air at 2:45 p.m.