THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2007
Baseball stays alive with 4-1 win over No. 1 Stetson
May 24, 2007
DELAND, Fla. - Photo Gallery - www.atlanticsun.org
After a crushing defeat in the first round, the JU baseball team picked themselves up off the canvas thanks to an eight inning gem by junior Matt Davis as the Dolphins defeated No. 1 Stetson, 4-1, Thursday afternoon in the second day of the 2007 Atlantic Sun Conference Championship presented by Progress Energy at Melching Field.
JU (31-26), who faced elimination to the hosting Hatters, got a series of key hits and played solid defense to build a 3-0 lead through five innings against Stetson ace Chris Ingoglia.
Stetson (40-18) managed only one run on six hits as the Hatters left eight runners on base, including two situations with the bases loaded.
"This game showed the character of our team and I'm proud of the way we bounced back from yesterday," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "Now we have new life, a little swagger back in our step and hopefully we can make a run in the next couple of days."
Davis (4-1) scattered six hits while allowing only one run with three walks and four strikeouts in eight innings. In only his third start of the season, Davis retired the first 10 batters he faced before leaving the contest with 130 pitches thrown. Junior Matt Dobbins notched his first save of the season after striking out two batters to complete a scoreless ninth inning.
"Matt Davis had a tremendous performance today in a hostile environment and he we fed off of his energy throughout the game."
Ingoglia (9-5) was tagged with the loss despite allowing only four runs (three earned) on eight hits with four walks and 12 strikeouts while also throwing over 130 pitches in 7.2 innings. Casey Frawley and Justin Bass each finished with multiple hits to lead the Hatters.
The Dolphins took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when senior first baseman Ryan McArdle hit an RBI single up the middle.
Freshman designated hitter Chuck Opachich was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning but was picked off by Ingoglia. After a walk to senior right fielder Mike McCallister, Clifford hit a single through the right side. McArdle followed with a single up the middle to score McCallister.
JU took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Clifford connected on a solo home run over the right field wall on a 0-1 count. For Clifford, it was his career-high 12th home run of the season.
The Hatters threatened in the top of the fifth with the bases loaded and no one out but Davis struck out Josh Clendenin looking and then induced pinch-hitter Erich Holland into an inning-ending double-play.
The Dolphins took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth when McCallister hit an RBI single through the left side.
Opachich led off the inning with a walk and ended up on third base after a throwing error by Hatter catcher Clendenin on a stolen base attempt. With the infield drawn in, McCallister pulled a ball through the left side to score Opachich.
The Hatters cut the deficit to 3-1 in the top of the sixth when Adam Tindle hit a sacrifice fly to right. Stetson still had runners on first and second on the play but Justin Bass was called out at second base on an appeal claiming that Bass did not touch second base before going back to first on the fly out.
Stetson threatened again in the top of the eighth with runners on the corners and two outs but Davis got Adam Tingle to fly out to right to end the inning.
With a new bracket in place, the Dolphins will next face No. 5 Gardner-Webb on Friday at 3 p.m. with the loser facing elimination. 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 2:45 p.m.
No. 6 Lipscomb was eliminated from the tournament after falling to the Bulldogs, 4-1, in the early game.