Baseball handles Florida A&M, 12-6
Freshman Adam Brett Walker
Freshman Adam Brett Walker
It’s been a rough stretch for the Dolphins in their last 10 but a career day for freshman first baseman Adam Brett Walker and a stellar pitching performance by senior Glenn Witkowski led the JU baseball team to a 12-6 win over Florida A&M, Wednesday evening at John Sessions Stadium.

JU (13-13), which has lost eight of its last 10, plated 12 runs on nine hits to run its home record to 11-6 at home.

FAMU (6-13-1) totaled a game-high 11 hits in the contest but left eight runners on base.

“We did what we needed to do to get back in the win column tonight,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “Now we need to continue to take care of business and be prepared for a tough road trip this weekend. If we play the way we are capable of, then things will work out for us.”

Senior Glenn Witkowski (2-3) got the win after allowing only three hits with no walks and four strikeouts in four innings of a pre-determined start. Junior Brian Gilroy also added 0.2 innings of shutout relief to get the Dolphins out of a jam in the eighth.

Eric Cotton (0-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing six runs on three hits with five walks and two strikeouts in three innings.

Walker led the Dolphins by going 4-for-5 with two home runs and four RBI to run his team-leading home run total to 10 on the year. Senior Chuck Opachich went 2-for-3 with a double and a home run to also lead the squad.

Darius Washington led the Rattlers by finishing 3-for-4 while Derrick Shaw and Reginald Grant each tallied multiple hits.

JU took a 3-0 lead in the first inning when Walker connected on a three-run homer.

Opachich led off the inning with a walk before stealing second base. After advancing to third on a grounder to short, freshman center fielder Dan Gulbransen drew a walk and also stole second. In the next at-bat, Walker hit a 2-2 pitch over the right field wall to clear the bases.

The Dolphins made it 6-0 in the third when Opachich hit a solo homer down the left-field line sophomore right fielder Jonathan Murphy scored on a wild pitch and junior catcher Alex Swenson drove in a run from third with a chop grounder to short.

JU increased the advantage to 8-0 in the fourth when Murphy and Gulbransen each tallied an RBI single to center.

The Rattlers cut the deficit to 8-3 in the sixth when Jared Jeffries hit an RBI triple down the right-field line, Tobi Adeyemi hit an RBI grounder to second and Jimm Terrell hit an RBI grounder back to the mound.

JU increased the margin to 11-3 in the seventh when junior third baseman Jimmy Howick drove in a run with a fielder’s choice to second, senior shortstop Derek Abis drove in a run with a single through the right side and Murphy drove in a run with a bases-loaded walk.

The Rattlers made it 11-4 Shaw hit an RBI single to second with a runner on second base.

JU added another run in the eighth when Walker hit a solo shot to right center.

FAMU plated two more runs in the ninth when Washington hit an RBI single through the left side and a run scored on a throwing error by the Dolphins.

JU returns to conference action on Friday as it begins a three-game series at USC Upstate on Friday at 6 p.m.