JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Michael Baumann struck out nine in six and two-thirds innings as Jacksonville University (7-8) hammered Harvard University (4-1) in a 12-1 victory on Friday in John Sessions Stadium. The 12 runs are the most JU has scored this season.
"It was great for us to play a complete game," said Head Coach Chris Hayes. "We've been striving for this, and it's nice to see pitching, defense, and offense all come together. It was great to see a complete effort. It all started on the mound. Michael came out and threw exceptionally well and established what he was going to do early on."
Baumann threw exactly 100 pitches on the way to nine strikeouts. The junior from Mahtomedi, Minn., improved to 1-1 on the year and now has 26 strikeouts to just 14 hits in 21.1 innings of work.
"We're still bringing him back and being very cautious," said Hayes on Baumann's pitch limit. "We don't want to tax him too much too early because he's still recovering, but every time out he's looked better and better. This is a long season, but it was really good to see him be as strong as he was late in the game."
While Baumann, Andrew Ciocia, and Logan Wonn combined for just one run on seven hits, three walks, and 11 strikeouts, JU's offense had arguably just as good of a night. The Dolphins plated 12 runs on 14 hits, seven walks, three hit batters, and no strikeouts.
Jacksonville struck early and often. Angel Camacho singled home Mike Cassala with two outs to give JU a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, then the Dolphins added two more on singles by Franco Guardascione and Nathan Koslowski and a sac bunt from Dakota Julylia. After two JU led 3-0.
JU scored again in the third on a single from Connor Stephens that put Camacho safely across, and would've had a second run in the inning if the Harvard centerfielder had thrown the ball home just one second later. After three JU led 4-0.
JU matched its season high for runs scored in a single inning with four in the fourth on just two hits. Koslowski started the inning with a double, and was scored when Camacho hit into a fielder's choice that should have got Scott Dubrule out at second. Instead the Harvard shortstop overthrew the third baseman and Dubrule lived on long enough to score on a three-RBI double by John Cassala. After four JU led 8-0.
Singles from Dubrule and M. Cassala and a two-RBI double from Sam Armstrong put two more across in the fifth, and JU scored its final two runs in the seventh on a single by Koslowski, a double by Evan Fernandez, an RBI groundout by M. Cassala, and an RBI single by Armstrong. After seven innings JU led 12-1, and that remained the score through the final two innings.
"Off the bat our offense set the tone, and when they're gonna back me up and score runs it makes it easy for me to keep the momentum going for them," said Baumann. "The guys are sticking to our philosophy by putting the ball in play and being aggressive."