JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In a rubber match between Jacksonville University (27-20, 11-4 ASUN) and Stetson University (22-26, 10-5 ASUN), the Dolphins led for most of the game but fell to the Hatters 3-1 after allowing three runs to score in the ninth. Stetson took the season series 2-1, giving JU its first ASUN Conference series loss of the year.
Chris Gau and Stetson starter Ryan Stark dazzled through three, allowing just two hits apiece. Stetson got its third hit of the game in the top of the fourth but stranded the runner on a strikeout and a pop fly, and JU scored first in the bottom of the inning with a solo shot by Sam Armstrong with one out. A strikeout and a fly out deep to right field ended the Dolphin threat, but after four innings JU led 1-0.
The Hatters used a lead-off single, a walk, and a sac bunt to put runners on second and third with one out, but Gau struck out the next Stetson batter and stranded the Hatters with a 3-1 grounder. The sophomore pitcher was tossed by the first base umpire for words exchanged after the play. Gau finished the game with four hits, no runs allowed, four strikeouts, and two walks.
Projected Stetson starter Logan Gilbert, who sat out the first four innings with a stomach sickness, relieved Stark in the fifth inning. He allowed three hits while striking out four and walking two over the next five innings, holding JU scoreless the rest of the game.
Matt Meyer relieved Gau to start the sixth inning and allowed just one hit through his first three innings of work, but after striking out the first Hatter in the ninth he surrendered three singles to the Hatters, which tied the game with runners on second and third. Spencer Stockton replaced Meyer with two outs in the ninth and got the batter to hit to Evan Fernandez at first. Stockton ran to cover the bag and caught the lob from Fernandez in what appeared to be a 3-1 ground-out. The first base umpire ruled the junior pitcher had reached the bag late, allowing Stetson to take a 3-1 victory as both runners came home on the play.
The Dolphins will return to action Tuesday at Florida State (31-18, 11-12 ACC), then return home for the last three-game series at home this season, May 12-14, against USC Upstate (21-16, 5-10 ASUN).
Tweetable Fin Facts
- Angel Camacho stretched his hitting streak to 18 games with a one-out single in the first inning. He's now hitting .333 on the year.
- Scott Dubrule finished 2-4 on the day. He reached base in every game of the series and had three hits over the weekend.
- This is the first ASUN series loss for the Dolphins in 2017 and the first time JU has lost two games in a row since losing at UCF and at #9 FGCU on March 28 & 31. The Dolphins went on to win 13 in a row when the calendar flipped to April.