Baseball falls to East Tennessee State, 7-2

March 22, 2008

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The JU baseball team can't find any luck this week as they once again fell to East Tennessee State, 7-2, on Saturday afternoon in the final game of an Atlantic Sun Conference series at John Sessions Stadium.

The Dolphins (13-7, 7-5) dropped all four of their games on Spring Break and have now lost five of their last six conference games after starting the A-Sun slate a perfect 6-0. The Buccaneers (5-15, 5-7) earned their first A-Sun sweep after producing balanced offensive attack with 33 runs on 33 hits in the series.

"We just couldn't do anything right this week," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "A lot of that had to do with the good play of East Tennessee State. We look to regroup starting on Tuesday and see where it takes us."

ETSU starter Josh Means (1-3) went the distance to earn his first collegiate victory. Means allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits and struck out six.

JU starter Matt Dobbins (3-1) was tagged for his first loss after surrendering three runs on five hits and fanning five batters in six innings of work. Relievers Steven Eagerton and Matt Loosen combined to allow four runs in the final three innings.

Designated hitter Jeremy Gillan paced the JU offense going 2-for-4, while Kyle Fleming and Tony Bernazard each plated a run.

First baseman Paul Hoilman went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored to lead ETSU's offensive attack. Jacob Fabry and Troy Mendez also finished with two hits on the afternoon.

Dobbins got two quick outs to start the scoreless third inning, but ran into trouble after hitting Fabry and then walking the next two batters to load the bases. Hoilman worked Dobbins to a 2-2 count before doubling to give the Buccaneers a 2-0 advantage.

The Dolphins cut the deficit to a run at 2-1, when Fleming drove Kevin Ferreira home on a sacrifice fly to centerfield in the fourth inning.

Hoilman reached on a one-out walk off Dobbins in the sixth inning. Dobbins worked a full count to Mendez, but a delayed third strike call by the home plate umpire allowed Hoilman to steal second on what was maybe thought a walk. Bubba Herbold followed with a hit that dropped just inside the right field chalk lane to score Hoilman and give ETSU a 3-1 lead.

The Buccaneers pushed their lead to 7-1 in the eighth inning with the help of an RBI single by Bart Roark and a three-run home run by Ben Allen off JU reliever Matt Loosen.

Chuck Opachich laced a one-out double to left field in the eighth inning. After moving to third on a wild pitch, Opachich scored when Bernazard reached on an error. The error seemed to start a rally for JU, but Means induced a ground ball double play in the next at-bat to quash it.

The Dolphins threatened again in the ninth inning with two runners on with two outs, but Means once again wiggled out of the jam by striking out Thomas Myers to secure the win.

JU will look to break its recent skid on Tuesday as they travel down to Gainesville to face in-state rival Florida at 6:30 p.m. Fans can hear the game live on ESPN 1460AM beginning at 6:15 p.m. with the Bono's pregame show.