TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Jacksonville University baseball outlasted Florida A&M 11-10 on Wednesday night at Moore-Kittles Field.
JU (22-12) turned 11 hits into 11 runs to beat the Rattlers (14-21) for the second time in as many weeks, the difference being Sam Armstrong's tie-breaking, two-run home run in the eighth.
"It was great for us to be able to walk out of here with a win," said Head Coach Chris Hayes. "We swung the bats exceptionally well, we played very good defense and we made pitches when we had to.
JU took an early lead when Ruben Someillan led the game off with a single and eventually came around to score on Angel Camacho's groundout to short. FAMU tied it right back up in the bottom of the inning, after a leadoff triple came in on a single to center.
The Dolphins used a big third to take control, sending nine men to the plate, and Scott Dubrule and John Cassala driving in runs, the latter clearing the bases with a three RBI double to make it 5-1. The Rattlers started to chip away in the fifth, when two men reached with one out and were bunted into scoring position and both came home on a single to right to trim the deficit to 5-3.
JU immediately answered, getting those runs back in the top of the sixth. Cory Garrastazu snuck a bunt down the third base line that rolled on the chalk all the way to the bag. Then with two outs, the Dolphins came through. Someillan walked, Chris Lehane drove in Garrastazu with a single and Dubrule picked up second RBI of the night plating Someillan and extending the lead back to four, 7-3. FAMU again got one back, as a leadoff walk worked around to third and scored on a wild pitch.
The seventh started with JU extending the lead to its largest of the night, tacking on two more to make it 9-4. Back-to-back one out walks to Cassala and Jacob Southern set up a Garrastazu RBI single. Two batters later, Lehane drove in his second run of the night, singling to right after fouling off five straight pitches down in the count 1-2. Garrastazu was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
FAMU parlayed the big defensive play into a big inning in the bottom half. The first six Rattlers reached base en route to 10 men coming to the plate. After two walks started the frame, a single drove in one run and back-to-back doubles scored four more, to tie the game at nine.
The eighth began with Camacho walking to extend his 17-game reach-base streak, before Armstrong, who had reached base for the 18th straight game earlier in the night, blasted a 2-1 pitch to right that hit three-quarters of the way up the light pole. His fourth of the year and 21st of his career broke the tie in JU's favor again.
Chris Mauloni came on with one out in the bottom of the eighth and struck out two to end the frame and strand the tying run on, then gave up one run on a sacrifice fly to right in the ninth, but stranded the tying run at third to earn his 13th save of the season, a new single-season record at JU.
JU stranded the tying or go-ahead in scoring position five times throughout the night. The time of game was 4:34, the longest game JU has played in this season.
"Bottom line, when you're on the road, you have to find a win and this group did that tonight," said Hayes.
Jacksonville hosts Florida Gulf Coast in the first of a three-game series Friday at 2 p.m. at John Sessions Stadium. Dollar Friday means tickets and select concessions are only a buck. The game is also airing on ESPN3.