JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A four-run third inning wasn't enough for Jacksonville University (27-19, 11-3 ASUN) to overcome Stetson University (21-26, 9-5 ASUN) in a Saturday slugfest. The Dolphins lost 17-5 to the Hatters in John Sessions Stadium, setting up a rubber match in the Sunday finale.
Stetson struck early with a two-run homer in the first inning, then extended its lead to 3-0 with a solo dinger in the third.
Jacksonville responded with a four-run bottom of the third, briefly taking a 4-3 lead. Dakota Julylia led off the inning with a double, and was driven home by a home run from Nathan Koslowski, one of his two hits on the night. Angel Camacho drew a walk and Scott Dubrule was hit by a pitch, both with no outs, and Sam Armstrong doubled to right center to plate both runners.
Stetson responded with five runs on five hits in the top of the fourth inning, retaking the lead 8-4. Andrew Ciocia held the Hatters at bay for the fifth and sixth inning, but Stetson managed to score three more in the seventh on three doubles and one more in the eighth on two singles and an error. Seth DeWitt pinch hit for Ruben Someillan in the bottom of the eighth after Mike Cassala singled with one out, and DeWitt plated Cassala with a line drive that careened off the mound and into left center field. After eight innings Stetson led 12-5.
The Hatters bats weren't quite done in the ninth. A two run homer with no outs and a three run homer with one out gave Stetson five more runs, and though Camacho extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a single in the bottom of the inning, JU wasn't able to put anything more across. The final from Sessions: Stetson 17, Jacksonville 5
Chris Gau (2-4, 4.50 ERA) will face Logan Gilbert (7-0, 2.13 ERA) Sunday in the rubber match. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Little League Day. Little League participants that show up to the game wearing their jersey will receive one free admission for the player and an accompanying adult.