Baseball homers past Gardner-Webb, 9-6, to open A-Sun play

Feb. 29, 2008

Box Score

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. - Senior shortstop Matt Lopez hit a two-run run homer in the top of the eighth to snap a tie ballgame while junior right fielder Thomas Myers continued his offensive onslaught with a pair of two-run homers to lead the JU baseball team to a 9-6 win over Gardner-Webb to open Atlantic Sun Conference play, Friday afternoon at Varsity Field.

JU (4-0, 1-0) pounded out nine runs on 12 hits, including three home runs, to win its fourth consecutive game of the 2008 season.

GWU (3-3, 0-1) rallied to tie the contest with four runs in the bottom of the fifth but could not get another runner across the plate for the remainder of the contest.

Freshman Sean Green (1-0) earned his first collegiate win after allowing only one run on two hits with a walk and three strikeouts in three innings of relief. Junior Billy Schlee tallied his second save after hurling two innings of perfect relief. Junior Tim Brown got the no-decision after allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits with four walks and five strikeouts in four innings.

Wes Cogdill (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing three runs on three hits with two walks in an inning of relief. Jonathon Ban also earned the no-decision after allowing six runs on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts in six innings of work.

"We got out to a lead early but we made some mistakes to let them back into the game," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "With that said, we showed some muster by fighting off their momentum and then coming up with the big hit."

Myers led the offensive attack by going 2-for-3 with two home runs and four RBI. Lopez finished 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and two RBI. Senior center fielder Kevin Ferreira and junior left fielder Kyle Fleming also chipped in with multiple hits.

Matt Rizzuto led the Bulldogs by going 3-for-5 with an RBI while Josh Drewery went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI.

With the contest even at 6-6, JU recaptured the lead for good on a two-run homer by Lopez and then added another run with an RBI infield single by senior center fielder Kevin Ferreira. Sophomore first baseman Alex Martinez led off with a walk before Lopez went with a pitch down the right-field line. With a runner on third base, Ferreira beat out a chopper to short to pad the lead.

JU jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Gillan hit an RBI single and sophomore first baseman Alex Martinez drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Ferreira drew a walk to lead of the game and then moved to second on a base hit through the left side by Fleming. After both runners advanced on a wild pitch by Ban, Gillan laced a single to center with one out. Martinez followed with a drive to right field to plate Fleming.

The Dolphins avoided a threat by the Bulldogs in the bottom of the first when Brown got out of a bases loaded jam by forcing Matt Rizzuto into a double-play to second base on a 3-1 count. Brown got out of another jam in the bottom of the second by striking out Jon Ahearn on a full count with runners on first and second.

JU increased the margin to4-0 in the top of the third when Myers hit a two-run homer, his third on the season. With one out, Fleming drew a walk before Myers hit the first pitch to the deepest part of the park in right center, to clear the bases.

GWU cut the deficit to 4-2 in the bottom of the third when Rizzuto hit an RBI single to right field and Bubbie Spake drove in a run with a single through the left side.

Brown escaped unscathed once again in the bottom of the fourth when he struck out Jeremiah Lokken on a 2-2 pitch with runners on first and second.

The Dolphins increased the lead to 6-2 in the top of the fifth when Myers hit his second two-run homer of the contest. With two outs, Fleming reached on an infield single to short before Myers hit a 2-2 pitch over the left center wall.

The Bulldogs evened the contest in the bottom of the fifth with four runs on three hits, including a two-run homer to left center by Ty Boyles.

JU and GWU will wrap up its series with a double-header on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m.