JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With runners on first and second and two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Angel Camacho earned his first career walk-off win on a single to centerfield. Jacksonville University (8-9) won the second game of the Saturday doubleheader 2-1 in eight innings after dropping a 4-1 loss to Harvard University (5-2) in the first game.
"Harvard is an exceptionally well-coached, very disciplined team, and we knew going in that this was going to be a dogfight of a series," said Head Coach Chris Hayes. "Last night we swung the bat exceptionally well, and today was what we were expecting. Give credit to the Harvard pitchers. They did a great job of pitching out of jams all day, and we've got to do a little bit better job of competing with runners in scoring position."
"You couldn't get two better starts out of Gau and Kulina today," continued Hayes. "They did everything that we could possibly ask of them, and Spencer came in and did it again for us. He held the Harvard hitters at bay and gave us a chance to scratch something out here right at the end."
Game 1 – Harvard 4, Jacksonville 1
In the first game of the day neither team scored through two, and it looked like Harvard would be scoreless through three with two outs in the top of the inning. But then Ben Skinner hit a single in the 6-5 gap and John Fallon reached on an error in the next at-bat, scoring Skinner. Fallon was scored on a double, giving Harvard a 2-0 lead. JU couldn't answer in the bottom of the inning, and after three Harvard led 2-0.
Chris Gau dominated the majority of his time on the mound in Game 1, striking out a career-best 11 batters in seven innings of work. He allowed seven hits, no walks, and just one earned run in the sixth that game Harvard a 3-0 lead.
But Harvard answered right back with a solo dinger in the eighth inning, and that proved to be the final score.
Game 2 – Jacksonville 2, Harvard 1
Casey Kulina continued the Dolphins' theme of strong starting pitching by striking out six and allowing just one run to score in five and two-thirds innings of work. The senior from Hummelstown, Pa., struck out four of the first six batters he faced, but Harvard was able to score on runner after a single, a stolen base, and an RBI single that gave Harvard a 1-0 in the top of the second.
Neither team scored again until the bottom of the fifth when Ruben Someillan put Camacho across on an RBI groundout to second base that froze John Cassala. The Dolphins had two hits in that inning, Camacho's leadoff single and J. Cassala's double that put Camacho on third.
The game was scheduled to end after seven innings, but neither team could score in the sixth or seventh, though both teams managed to get runners on third. Harvard's Trent Bryan reached third on a standing triple to center field with only one out, but Spencer Stockton struck out the next batter and forced a groundout to third to end the threat. JU got Chris Lehane to third after Seth DeWitt hit a single and was pinch ran by Lehane, then Lehane was advanced to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a groundout from Someillan. But the Harvard pitcher end the threat with a groundout, forcing an "extra" eighth inning.
Nathan Koslowski hit a single past the Harvard shortstop to lead off the Dolphin eighth, his eighth game of the year with multiple hits. Alex Seifert then reached first on a fielder's choice, and Koslowski beat the throw to second, giving Seifert a sac credit despite Harvard achieving no outs on the play. Camacho then singled just in front of the Harvard centerfielder to score Koslowski, ending the game.
The final after eight: Jacksonville 2, Harvard 1.
"We got a couple guys on before I came up, and I was just trying to get a good pitch to hit, hopefully in a line drive up the middle," said Camacho. "The pitch I hit got in on me a little bit, and I didn't get as much of it as you dream about your first walk-off hit to be, but I got just enough of it to get hit over the middle guys and drop in front of the centerfielders. Not how we drew it up, but it's a win and that's what matters. We've been right in every game recently and certain things just haven't gone our way, so it would be really nice to get a series win here moving forward into the last weeks of non-conference play."