WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 05, 2012
Gulbransen’s big day snaps ValleyCats skid
A day after Adam Brett Walker II led the minor league headlines, former JU baseball teammate Dan Gulbransen took his turn as his big Tuesday night helped the Tri-City ValleyCats (Single-A (Short), Houston Astros) to a 9-3 against the Hudson Valley Renegades (Single-A (Short), Tampa Bay Rays) at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.

Gulbransen, a Dolphins’ outfielder from 2010-12, smashed a three-run home run in the second inning to put the home team up 3-0. He added a solo homer in the fourth inning to put the game out of reach to snap the ValleyCats’ five-game losing streak. The two home run game broke a 6-for-32 slump for the Appleton, Wis., native.

“I just got some fastballs that I put the barrel on,” Gulbransen told MiLB.com. “There was a little bit of a wind going out to left field. I had some balls go up in that wind after I got good contact with the barrel and they ended up over the fence.”

Gulbransen has 31 runs scored, eight doubles, six home runs and 37 RBI in 57 games since being taken in the 16th round of the 2012 draft. Gulbransen and the ValleyCats start the New-York Penn League Division Playoffs Saturday.

“Dan has always been a pretty good hitter,” JU head coach Terry Alexander said. “A two home run game is huge and we look for more to come out of him as he keeps playing.”

On the field in 2012, Gulbransen earned first team all-conference honors for the third straight season by ranking second on the team in average (.324), hits (67), triples (1), home runs (6) and RBI (33). He also led the Dolphins with 21 multiple-hit games.

Gulbransen hit .380 in A-Sun play and finished the conference schedule with a 13-game hitting streak, including multiple hits in six of the final seven contests. In the career record book, he is fifth all-time in walks (118), seventh in doubles (44) and eighth in hits (230).

As a junior, Gulbransen ranked second in average (.370), doubles (18), triples (2), RBI (52) and slugging percentage (.546). He along with Walker II received all-south region honors from the American Baseball Coaches Association. Gulbransen earned three Freshman All-America accolades and was the A-Sun Freshman of the Year after batting .391 in 2010.

Gulbransen was even stronger in the classroom by earning three A-Sun all-academic and President’s Honor Roll accolades. He has also been named Capital One Academic All-America twice and was voted the A-Sun baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2012.

The Dolphins begin fall practice in late September at John Sessions Stadium.