FRIDAY, APRIL 11, 2014
Dolphins Drop Opener To Florida Gulf Coast
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville dropped a weekend series opener to visiting Florida Gulf Coast on Friday in a 13-3 decision at John Sessions Stadium.
The Dolphins (11-22; 5-8 A-Sun) were led by senior Scott Schaub (Ocala, Fla.) who was 2-for-4 with two RBI to up his team leading total to 22 RBI in 25 games played this season. Five other players had hits in the game for Jacksonville, including Cameron Gibson (Conyers, Ga.) who doubled and scored in the ninth for his fifth extra base hit in the last seven games. Gibson leads the Dolphins with eight doubles and 10 extra base hits on the year.
Florida Gulf Coast (23-12; 8-2 A-Sun) had their bats working from the opening pitch scoring three runs on four hits in the top of the first. Matched up against Eagle starter Mike Murray, the Dolphins show little intimidation against the ace who entered with a 0.43 ERA having allowed just two earned runs all season.
Jacksonville stayed aggressive against Murray after Angelo Amendolare (Edgewater, Fla.) led off with a walk. Michael Babb (Jacksonville, Fla.) followed with an infield bunt single. Two batters later Connor Marabell (Jacksonville, Fla.) drove in his seventh run in the last seven games with a single to left. Schaub added a RBI single as well in the inning to keep the Dolphins within strike distance down 3-2 after one.
“Our guys did a great job of answering back after the rough top of the first,” said Head Coach Tim Montez. “The key to that is being able to have a shutdown inning after we scored. Once he (Murray) got the runs back in the second and third he gained confidence and settled in.”
The shutdown inning unfortunately didn’t come when needed for the Dolphins. The Eagles added single runs back in the second and third before breaking the game open with an eight run fifth.
Murray, who went to 8-0 with the win, surrendered just one hit over his final five innings after the first inning output by the Dolphins.
Senior Will Flor (Bloomington, Minn.) came on in relief in the fifth for Jacksonville to shut Florida Gulf Coast down the rest of the year. In his longest outing of the year, the lefty threw 4.2 shutout innings allowing just four hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
“That was huge for us and what you want to see out of a fourth year senior,” Montez said of Flor’s performance. “With Parker Perez now out for the year we are one more pitcher short. Flor saved us for having to go the bullpen and that could be the key to the whole weekend.”
The series continues on Saturday at 2:00 pm. Catch all the action on 92.5 FM.