SATURDAY, APRIL 03, 2010
Baseball holds off USC Upstate, 10-8, in game one of doubleheader
Sophomore Jonathan Murphy
Sophomore Jonathan Murphy
The bats stayed hot for the Dolphins as sophomore left fielder Jonathan Murphy finished 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI to lead the JU baseball team to a 10-8 win over USC Upstate, Saturday afternoon in game one of a doubleheader at Harley Park.

JU (15-13, 7-4) broke double digits on the scoreboard for the second straight game after pounding out 11 hits while committing no errors in the field.

Upstate (9-21, 1-10) staged a rally with five runs in the sixth but were in too deep a hole after committing four errors and leaving a game-high nine runners on base.

“I’m glad to see that our bats stayed hot because we needed them,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “We put ourselves in a tough spot with some mental mistakes in the field but we were able to settle down and get the win.”

Junior Matt Tomshaw (3-1) got the win after allowing seven runs on 11 hits with two walks and a strikeout in 5.1 innings. Senior Glenn Witkowski added 1.2 inning of shutout relief before junior Chris Kaminski notched his sixth save with two innings of relief. With that save, he surpassed Matt Davis (13, 2005-08) and Casey Shumaker (13, 2000-01) for second on the JU career saves list.

Scott DeCecco (0-4) was tagged with the loss after allowing seven runs (six earned) on seven hits with two walks and a strikeout in four innings.

Along with Murphy, junior shortstop Jamaal Hawkins also finished 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and two RBI.

Gaither Bumgardner led the Spartans by going 3-for-5 with a double, a Grand Slam and five RBI.

JU took a 1-0 lead in the first when senior first baseman Alex Martinez hit an RBI single. With one out, Murphy hit a double off the left field wall. After moving to third when Hawkins reached on a fielding error by shortstop Brody Greer, Martinez laced a single through the right side.

The Dolphins increased the lead to 3-0 in the third when junior shortstop Jamaal Hawkins hit an RBI single and freshman center fielder Dan Gulbransen drove in a run with a fielder’s choice to second.

Senior second baseman Chuck Opachich drew a walk to lead off the inning and then reached second on a bunt single to second by Murphy. Hawkins pulled a ball through the left side to score Opachich before both runner advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Martinez. In the next at-bat, Gulbransen hit a high chop to second to score Murphy but Hawkins was gunned down at third on the play for the fielder’s choice.

The Spartans cut the margin to 3-1 in the bottom of the third when Gaither Bumgardner pulled an RBI single through the left side. Upstate still threatened with the bases loaded and two outs but Tomshaw got Andre Harris to hit a grounder to third for the force out.

JU increased the margin to 7-1 in the fourth when Opachich hit an RBI bunt single and Murphy hit a three-run homer.

Junior right fielder Esterlin Perozo drew a walk to lead off the inning and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. After advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt by junior catcher Alex Swenson, sophomore third baseman Jimmy Howick reached on a catcher’s interference. Opachich followed with a bunt single to first to plate Perozo before Murphy cleared the bases with a homer to right center.

The Dolphins made it 8-1 in the fifth when Swenson hit an RBI single to center after Perozo reached second on a fielding error by Blake Green in center.

The Spartans made it 8-2 in the bottom of the fifth when Jimmy Tanner pulled an RBI single through the left side. Upstate still threatened with the bases loaded and two outs but Tomshaw got Brian Dempsey to pop out to short to end the inning.

JU added another run in the sixth when Opachich scored from third on a wild pitch. Opachich led off the inning with a single down the right field line but advanced to second when the ball got by Dempsey. After advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt by Murphy, Opachich scored on the wild pitch.

The Spartans cut the deficit to 9-7 in the bottom of the sixth when Joe Barnes hit an RBI single and Bumgardner hit a Grand Slam to dead center.

JU added an insurance run in the ninth when Hawkins hit a solo homer to left center.

Upstate would add a run in the ninth when Trey Richardson hit a sacrifice fly to right after Dempsey led off the inning with a triple to left center.

The series finale can be followed through Live Stats or GameTracker by logging onto JUDolphins.com.