JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Despite trailing 3-0 after the first inning, Jacksonville University (15-16, 2-1 ASUN) kept the hit parade going through three games, hammering Bethune-Cookman University (19-13, 6-3 MEAC) in a 24-9 victory Wednesday. The 24 runs are the most the Dolphins have scored in a single game in 26 years.
"It's always nice to come out and put up some big numbers early, which lets our guys relax and get into their at-bats," said Head Coach Chris Hayes. "Ultimately you see the potential of what this lineup can be when we work at it and get some quality at-bats. It was great to see some guys get in there and play and take advantage of the opportunity that will be ahead of them for the next few games."
With one out in the bottom of the second Jacob Southern gave the offense a kick start with a solo homer to left, and Nathan Koslowski singled home Ruben Someillan and Chris Lehane to tie up the game at 3-3. The Dolphins would take the lead for good on a grand slam by Angel Camacho, his third homer of the year. Not to be outdone, Southern came up to the plate for the second time in the second and garnered a second RBI on a single that scored Seth DeWitt. A wild pitch that plated Evan Fernandez ended the scoring glut for JU, and after two JU led 9-3.
Bethune-Cookman pulled within three by scoring three runs on two hits and an error in the top of the third, but JU's bats stayed hot in the bottom of the inning. Camacho doubled home Scott Dubrule, and Evan Fernandez homered home DeWitt and Camacho. An error allowed Southern to score from third, and Koslowski singled home Dakota Julylia and Someillan to cap the JU run. After three the Dolphins led 16-6.
Relieving starter Mark Potter after two and a third innings, Andrew Ciocia went to work. The redshirt junior from Lutz, Fla., allowed just one hit in two and two thirds innings, striking out two. The JU pitching staff allowed just three runs to score after the third inning, holding the Wildcats at arms-length while the Dolphins continued to pour it on.
"I was pleased to see Ciocia come in from the bullpen and handle this game the way he did, giving us a chance to extend the lead. He and the rest of the pitchers did a great job in the middle of the game completely controlling the game," said Hayes.
A Southern single in the fourth scored DeWitt after he took over sole possession of the JU career hit-by-pitch record, and Dubrule singled home Alex Seifert in the fifth after Seifert was walked and then given two free bases on wild pitches. Seifert drew an RBI walk in the sixth with the bases loaded, and a sac fly for Koslowski gave JU a 20-6 lead after six innings.
B-CU scored three runs in the top of the seventh on a single and a flyout, and again JU answered, plating four on a Southern hit-by-pitch, a Chris Lehane RBI single, an RBI fielder's choice for Someillan, and a second sac fly for Koslowski. After seven JU led 24-9, and that score would hold for the rest of the game.
Tweetable Fin Facts
- With his 25th and 26th hit-by-pitches, DeWitt now holds the career record for hit batters. The senior from Jacksonville Beach, Fla., holds the record by two over the previous titleholder John Vollstedt.
- This was the first three homer game of the year for JU, and the first time any Dolphin has had five or more RBIs in one game. Koslowski finished with six and Dubrule and Camacho each had five.
- The 24 runs scored is the most since March 4, 1991, when JU won 24-0 over Northeastern Illinois.