FORT MYERS, Fla. – In a game that featured cleared dugouts, a 30-minute lightning delay, and an extra-innings homer, Jacksonville University (14-16, 2-1 ASUN) took down Florida Gulf Coast University (24-5, 1-2 ASUN) on Sunday with an 11-inning 5-2 victory. The Dolphins took two of three from the ninth-best team in the country in Swanson Stadium.
The game was a little strange from the start. Casey Kulina sandwiched two walks in between a groundout and a flyout, and one of the walked batters scored on a single up the middle, giving FGCU a 1-0 lead after one inning.
The senior lefty from Hummelstown, Pa., dominated the Eagles the rest of his outing, allowing just four hits while striking out three. He left the game in the seventh with runners on first and third and no outs. He was charged with a second run because the runner he left on third scored on a single in the next at-bat. But Spencer Stockton picked off the runner on third in the next play, then forced a fly out and a ground out to end the threat. After seven FGCU led 2-0.
Nathan Koslowski singled to right to lead off the eighth, and that fueled the Dolphins to two runs in the inning. Koslowski advanced to second on an error that allowed Scott Dubrule to reach safely, and both runners were advanced on a ground out by Angel Camacho. Sam Armstrong singled home both runners, tying the game at 2-2. DeWitt continued the hit parade with a single to third that put Armstrong on second, and Mike Cassala singled through the left side to load the bases with one out. Chris Lehane lined out to left, and Armstrong was thrown out at home by the left fielder.
When Armstrong headed home he collided with the FGCU catcher, and both dugouts cleared in a scuffle that lasted about a minute. Armstrong, M. Cassala, John Cassala, and Connor Stephens were ejected for their roles, and three FGCU players were also ejected.
In the bottom of the eighth the Eagles led off with a hit-by-pitch and got a single with no outs, but the Dolphins' defense held. In two fielder's choice situations the Dolphins were able to pick off base runners, and Stockton struck out the final batter in the eighth with runners on first and second. After eight the game remained tied 2-2.
FGCU had a walk-off opportunity in the bottom of the ninth. With the bases loaded, two outs, and a 3-2 count, Stockton struck out the batter looking. After nine the score remained 2-2.
Neither team scored in the 10th inning, and the Dolphins' bats broke through in the 11th. Koslowski singled with one out, and was imitated by Dubrule. Then Camacho destroyed the first pitch he saw, smoking it over the left field and giving JU a 5-2 lead. The Eagles managed to get runners on the corners with two outs in the bottom of the inning, but Tyler Santana struck out the Eagle batter, giving JU a 5-2 victory.
Tweetable Fin Facts
- DeWitt tied the career record for Dolphins being hit-by-pitch. He now has 24 in his career, tying the record set by John Vollstedt from 1997-2000.
- Camacho's homer is the second of this season and the second of his career. The sophomore hit his first homer in a 7-2 win over Georgia State on February 25.
- Santana got the win, improving to 3-1 on the season. He was 1-1 before this weekend.
- The Dolphins out-hit the Eagles 39-30 over three games.