SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2008
Baseball blanks UNC Wilmington, 9-0, to sweep JU Invitational
Feb. 24, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Senior pitcher Matt Dobbins hurled six shutout innings in his first start of 2008 while junior right fielder Thomas Myers and sophomore first baseman Alex Martinez each provided some offensive fireworks to lead the JU baseball team to a 9-0 win over UNC Wilmington, Sunday afternoon in the final day of the JU Invitational at John Sessions Stadium.
JU (3-0) scored early and often for the third straight game with seven runs in the first four innings. The Dolphins, who have scored 38 runs in three games, pounded out nine runs on 14 hits while recording their first shutout win since a 5-0 decision over Mercer on March 31, 2007.
UNC Wilmington (1-2) managed only four hits on the day while also committing three errors in the field.
"This was a complete game across the board for us," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "Dobbins was sharp all day, we made plays defensively and we got some timely hitting. It's a great start for us but we have to be prepared for a tough conference weekend coming up."
Dobbins (1-0), who was plagued by nagging injuries in 2007, consistently kept the Seahawks off balance by scattering three hits in six innings of work to go with two strikeouts and only one walk. He also did not allow a lead-off man to reach in the contest and had only one runner reach second base.
Bradley Holt (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing seven runs (three earned) on eight hits with no walks and two strikeouts in 3.1 innings.
Myers paced the JU offense by going 3-for-3 with a home run, his second of the weekend, and three RBI. Martinez also drove in a career-high three runs on his first collegiate home run. Junior left fielder Kyle Fleming finished 3-for-4 with three runs and an RBI while senior centerfielder Kevin Ferreira and senior shortstop Matt Lopez each tallied multiple hits.
Jes Snyder provided the only extra base hit for the Seahawks with a double in the fifth inning.
JU took an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Martinez hit a three-run homer with two outs. With one out, Fleming reached on a throwing error by Mike Rooney at short and Myers followed with a single right field. With two outs, Martinez crushed the first pitch over the left field wall to clear the bases.
The Dolphins increased the margin to 5-0 in the bottom of the second when Ferreira Fleming each tallied an RBI single with two outs. Lopez led off the inning with a single to center and then advanced to second on a sacrifice by sophomore second baseman Chuck Opachich. With two outs, Ferreira singled to right to score Lopez and then moved to third on an errant throw home by Bobby Leeper in right field. Fleming followed with a base hit through the left side to plate Ferreira.
JU made it 7-0 in the bottom of the fourth when Myers hit a two-run homer. With one out, Fleming hit a single to left field and then came home on Myers bomb over the left-field wall.
The Dolphins ended the scoring with two runs in the bottom of the sixth when Myers hit an RBI double and junior catcher Brad Simmons hit an RBI single. Ferreira led off the inning with a double off the right center wall and then advanced to third on an infield single to second by Fleming. Myers pulled a ball to left field to plate Ferreira and Simmons followed with a shot to right field.
JU will quickly jump into A-Sun play this weekend as the Dolphins face Gardner-Webb for a three-game series beginning on Friday at 2 p.m.