Baseball drops 7-0 elimination contest to Western Carolina in Chapel Hill Regional

June 2, 2007

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The magical season came to end for the Dolphins as the JU baseball team dropped a 7-0 elimination contest to Western Carolina, Saturday afternoon in the second day of the 2007 Chapel Hill Regional at Boshamer Stadium.

JU (34-28) was shutout for the second consecutive game and only the second time this season after leaving eight runners on base. The Dolphins have now been held scoreless in their last 19 innings in NCAA Regional play.

WCU (41-19) advanced in regional play after pounding out seven runs on 13 hits, including three home runs.

"It's disappointing that we were not able to showcase the team from last weekend in DeLand," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "We just could not catch a break or have a ball bounce our way on offense and you are not going to last long in the postseason if you can't score at least five runs.

"I am still proud of the year that we had and the great run that we had through the conference tournament. There are also 10 seniors that I am going to miss being a part of this program after what we have accomplished together."

Junior Matt Gardner (7-6) was tagged with the loss after allowing six runs (four earned) on eight hits with no walks and two strikeouts in six innings.

Senior right fielder Mike McCallister and junior center fielder John Tiner each finished with two hits to lead the Dolphin offense.

Drew Saberhagen (9-1), son of former Major Leaguer Brett Saberhagen, earned the win after scattering seven hits with five strikeouts in eight shutout innings. Steven Straughsbaugh led the Catamounts by going 3-for-5 with a double, a triple and an RBI.

The Catamounts took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Steven Straughsbaugh hit an RBI triple off the wall in the center field and Kenny Smith drove in a run with an RBI ground out to second.

WCU made it 3-0 in the top of the second when Nick Liles scored from third on a throwing error to first. The Catamounts still threatened with runners on first and second and two out but senior left fielder Pete Clifford made a catch at the wall off the bat of Blake Murphy to end the inning.

The Catamounts made it 4-0 in the top of the third when Jonathan Greene hit a solo shot over the center-field wall with two outs.

WCU made it 6-0 in the top of the sixth when John Ingram hit a solo home run to right field on the first pitch he saw in the at-bat and Donnie Wilson scored from first on a fielding error in the outfield with two outs.

The Catamounts increased the lead to 7-0 in the top of the seventh when Kenny Smith hit a solo home run over the left field wall with two outs.

The Dolphins earned their second NCAA Regional bid in consecutive seasons for only the second time in program history (1994-95) after winning their third A-Sun Tournament title. JU has now made eight NCAA appearances under Alexander for a total of 12 in program history.