JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The offensive fireworks returned for Jacksonville University baseball, who got seven strong innings from Spencer Stockton on the mound to win 11-3 over Kennesaw State Friday night at John Sessions Stadium.
With the win, JU (36-17, 13-6) won its 12th series of the year, the most since 2006, and clinched the two-seed in the ASUN Baseball Championship that starts next Wednesday.
JU got on the board early again, plating five in the second inning while hitting through the order. Back-to-back singles by Angel Camacho and Sam Armstrong started the frame, and Connor Stephens bunted the runners into scoring position. Franco Guardascione scored them both with a single to right field to put the Dolphins on top to start. Cory Garrastazu doubled off the wall in right to put two men in scoring position for Zack Smith, who also doubled to score both runners. After Ruben Someillan singled, Chris Lehane laid down a sacrifice to score Smith and make it 5-0.
JU added two more in the fifth, when Lehane singled to lead off the inning and stole second, setting up Scott Dubrule to get walked before he stole third. A fielder's choice hit into by Camacho plated Lehane, and Armstrong doubled Camacho to third before Stephens hit a sacrifice fly to make it 7-0.
Another two spot went up in the sixth, when Smith and Someillan walked and doubled to start the frame and Dubrule singled them both in, extending JU's lead to 9-0.
A final two runs for the Dolphins scored in the seventh, when again the leadoff two men reached, this time pinch-hitters John Cassala and Jacob Southern on a single and walk, respectively. A walk to Garrastazu loaded the bases for Garrastazu and Smith hit a sacrifice fly. Someillan singled to load the bases again for Lehane, who singled in the 11th run of the game, his sixth hit in nine at-bats with the bases loaded this season.
Stockton (7-5) did not allow a run in his seven innings, striking out five along the way. The toughest spot he found himself in came in the fifth, when a leadoff double advanced to third on a single to left to start the inning, before and flyout and a 6-4-3 double play ended the inning and the threat.
Andrew Ciocia gave up three runs in the eighth before striking out a man looking with a runner in scoring position to end the inning and Nathan Disch worked a perfect ninth with a strikeout to end it. It was Disch's 89th career appearance, tying him for most all-time in JU history with Joel Hegeman.
Jacksonville celebrates Senior Day and closes out the regular season at home tomorrow at 1 p.m. vs. Kennesaw State. Tyler Santana is scheduled to take the bump for JU.