THURSDAY, MARCH 20, 2008
Baseball get shelled by ETSU to earn first home loss
March 20, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Dolphins' perfect home record came to an end quickly as East Tennessee State scored 10 runs on six hits in the first inning en route to a 21-4 win over the JU baseball team, Thursday evening in the series opener at John Sessions Stadium.
JU (13-5, 7-3), which had its 11-game home winning streak snapped, allowed an opponent to score 20 runs for the first time since a 20-4 loss against Texas Pan-American at Sessions Stadium in 1997.
ETSU (3-15, 3-7), which will look to win its first series of the season, pounded out 21 runs on 16 hits, including four home runs (three in the first inning).
"There is not much to say with a loss like this," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "Nothing went right for us and all we can do is put this behind us and play again tomorrow."
Junior Tim Brown (2-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing 10 runs (three earned) on six hits in one inning. Freshman Matt Tomshaw helped save the bullpen for the rest of the weekend by chewing up a season-high five innings while striking out a personal-best eight batters.
Brandon Langston (1-4) earned the win after allowing four runs on 11 hits with no walks and seven strikeouts in six innings of work.
Sophomore second baseman Chuck Opachich led the Dolphin offense by going 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Sophomore third baseman Tony Bernazard went 2-for-2 and junior catcher Jeremy Gillan finished 2-for-3 with an RBI to round out the JU offense.
Anthony Russell had a career night for the Bucs by going 3-for-5 with a double, two home runs and seven RBI. Bubba Herbold also finished with three hits while Troy Mendez went 2-for-5 with a home runs and four RBI. ETSU jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the top of the first after tallying three home runs, one of which being a grand slam by Russell, while taking advantage of a Dolphin error.
The Bucs added two more runs in the top of the second before JU cut the margin to 12-2 in the bottom of the third. After three consecutive hits by Opachich, freshman third baseman Jamaal Hawkins and senior center fielder Kevin Ferreira, senior first baseman Matt Dobbins drove in a run with a grounder to first and Gillan followed with an RBI single to center.
ETSU made it 18-2 in the top of fourth after platting six runs on five hits while taking advantage of another Dolphin error.
JU made it 18-3 in the bottom of the fourth when Opachich hit an RBI single to short after junior designated hitter Brad Simmons led off the inning with a triple off the right-field wall.
ETSU would add another run in the top of the fifth and Russell hit a two-run home run in the top of the seventh.
The Dolphins put one more run on the board in the bottom of the sixth when Opachich drove in Bernazard with a double into right center. JU and ETSU will continue its series on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at John Sessions Stadium. The contest can be seen live through ASun.TV on JUDolphins.com.