Baseball gets offensive in 23-13 win over Valparaiso on the final day of the JU Invitational
Sophomore Jimmy Howick
Sophomore Jimmy Howick
Pitching may have been the story last night, but on this day, offense reigned supreme as the JU baseball team pounded Valparaiso, 23-13, Sunday afternoon in the final day of the JU Invitational at John Sessions Stadium.

On a day where both ball clubs were on the back end of their pitching staffs, the two teams combined for 37 runs, 45 hits (13 extra base hits), 11 errors and 14 pitchers.

No. 20 Oklahoma opened the day with an 11-3 win over Richmond in eight innings due to travel restrictions.

JU (4-3) overcame another deficit (this time a 5-0 hole in the second) by plating 10 runs on eight hits in the bottom of the second. The Dolphins, who also notched seven runs on six hits in the sixth, finished with 23 hits including eight doubles, a triple and two home runs.

It was the most runs scored and hits by the Dolphins since a 23-5 victory over at Mercer in which JU tallied 26 hits on May 11, 2009.

Valpo (1-5) continued to swing the bats well over the weekend by tallying 13 runs on 22 hits but the pitching staff combined for 10 walks while the defense finished with a game-high six errors.

“Both of us were running out of arms heading into today and luckily we were able to put up more runs then they did,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “You don’t want to see a lot of games go like this but I was glad to see our offense pick us up today. We needed to have good weekend to get our season turned around. Hopefully, we accomplished that.”

Freshman Kentrail Pierce (2-0) earned the win after hurling 1.1 innings of shutout relief. Junior Sean Green, who made his first appearance of the year, got the no-decision after allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits with a walk in 1.1 innings. Junior Matt Loosen also took to the hill for the first time and allowed only one run on three hits while striking out six batters in the final two innings.

Will Robinson (0-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing six runs on five hits with three walks and a strikeout in 1.1 innings.

Seven Dolphins finished with multiple hits on the day led by sophomore third baseman Jimmy Howick who was 4-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI.

Senior first baseman Alex Martinez finished 3-for-4 with a double, a home run while tying a career-high with four RBI. Junior catcher Alex Swenson went 3-for-4 with two doubles while freshman center fielder Dan Gulbransen finished 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI.

Sophomore right fielder Jonathan Murphy broke out of his early season slide by going 3-for-7 with a triple. Freshman designated hitter Adam Brett Walker also got in on the action by finishing 3-for-6 with a double, a home run and three RBI. Junior shortstop Jamaal Hawkins also tied a career-high with four RBI.

Ryan O’Gara enjoyed the best day of everyone involved by finishing 6-for-6 with a double and an RBI. Kyle Gaedele went 4-for-6 with a double and a team-high three RBI.

JU will take to the road for the first time this season as the Dolphins travel to Bethune-Cookman on Wednesday at 6 p.m.