Baseball drops double dip with Mercer to end series
Freshman Dan Gulbransen
Freshman Dan Gulbransen
After feeling good about themselves last night, the Dolphins got a rude awakening the next day as the JU baseball team dropped a doubleheader to Mercer (9-3, 8-7 (10), Saturday afternoon at John Sessions Stadium.

JU (12-13, 5-4) fell below .500 for the first time since the opening weekend of the season after being outhit 27-15 in two combined games.

Mercer (16-10, 4-2) earned its first series win over the Dolphins for the first time since the 2007 season.

The Bears put up three runs in the fifth and sixth inning to pull away in game one before rallying for three runs in the eighth to tie things up before plating a run in the 10th to earn the sweep.

“I was disappointed in how we played in the first game but I liked how we battled in the second,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “We put ourselves in position to win this series but we got beat by a better team in the second game. There is some time for a break in the next few days so we want to get rested up and ready to go when Florida A&M comes into town on Wednesday.”

In the first game, JU held a 3-2 lead through three innings until the Bears scored seven unanswered runs for the remainder of the contest.

Chris Newell (2-0) earned the win for the Bears after hurling 5.2 innings of shutout relief before David Teasley earned his second save with three shutout innings.

Senior Kyle Kriech (0-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing eight runs (five earned) on eight hits with three walks and strikeout in five innings.

Freshman center fielder Dan Gulbransen led the Dolphin offense by going 3-for-3 with two RBI.

Jacob Tanis led the Bears by going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI.

In game two, Mercer took an early 2-0 lead in the first but JU rattled off four in the second and a run in the third to take a 5-2 lead. The Bears but the margin to 5-4 in the top of the fourth but the Dolphins would add a run in the fifth and seventh to make it 7-4.

Mercer rallied for three runs in the top of the eighth to tie things up before a squeeze bunt single towards third by Nick DiMaruo with a man on third in the 10th, gave the Bears the series.

Lath Guyer (1-1) got the win for Mercer after allowing only one hit while striking out four batters in three shutout innings of relief.

Junior Chris Kaminski (2-3) was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs on eight hits with a walk and four strikeouts in four innings of relief.

Gulbransen led the Dolphins again by going 2-for-4 with a double and a home run. Junior right fielder Esterlin Perozo went 2-for-3 with two RBI while junior shortstop Jamaal Hawkins also finished with multiple hits.

Michael Langley led the Bears by going 4-for-5 while Evan Boyd and Tanis each finished with three hits.

The Dolphins will return to action on Wednesday as JU hosts Florida A&M at 6:30 p.m.