WEDNESDAY, APRIL 09, 2008
Baseball holds off Bethune-Cookman, 6-5
April 9, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Junior first baseman Jeremy Gillan drove in three runs and the Dolphin bullpen combined for nine strikeouts and 5.2 innings of stellar relief to lead the JU baseball team to a 6-5 win over Bethune-Cookman, Wednesday evening at John Sessions Stadium.
JU (19-13), which has now scored in the first inning in 21-of-32 games, scored five runs on four consecutive hits in the first inning.
BC-U (19-13) managed only five hits, but two were home runs to get the Wildcats back into the contest.
Sophomore Glen Witkowski (2-0) got the win after hurling 1.2 inning of scoreless relief in which he allowed only one hit and struck out two. Sophomore Carson Andrew added two innings of perfect relief, which included four strikeouts and freshman Steve Eagerton notched his first save after allowing no earned runs with three strikeouts in the final two innings.
Felix Machado (2-3) was tagged with the loss after allowing six runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts in five innings of work.
"We got off to a great start offensively but our bullpen shut things down for us," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "Our young arms have been put to the test this season and they continue to come through for us. Now we need to focus on a tough series with Campbell this weekend."
Gillan finished 1-for-2 with a double while sophomore second baseman Chuck Opachich finished 3-for-4 to raise his batting average to .330. Junior catcher Brad Simmons also finished with multiple hits while senior center fielder Kevin Ferreira went 1-for-2 with two runs in his return to the lineup.
Emmanuel Castro led the Wildcat offense with a three run home run while Osvaldo Torres added a solo shot for B-CU.
JU took a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Gillan hit a two-run double, junior designated hitter Dan Maier hit an RBI single, junior right fielder Thomas Myers drew in a run with a hit-by-pitch and junior Kyle Fleming hit an RBI ground out.
Ferreira led off the inning with a walk and then advanced to third on a single to center by Opachich. Gillan cleared the bases with a double to right center and then came home when Maier followed with a single to center. After Simmons hit a single through the right side, freshman third baseman Glen Johnson drew a walk to load the bases. Myers was hit by a pitch to drive in Maier and then Fleming grounded out to second to plate Simmons.
The Wildcats cut the deficit to 5-1 in the top of the second when Torres hit a solo home run to left field.
BC-U cut it to 5-4 in the top of the fourth when Emmanuel Castro hit a three-run homer to right field.
JU increased the lead to 6-4 in the bottom of the fourth when Gillan hit a sacrifice fly to center. With one out, Ferreira reached on an infield single to first and then stole second. After moving to third on a single to right by Opachich, Gillan hit a towering shot to center to score Ferreira.
The Wildcats cut the deficit to 6-5 in the top of the eighth when Jose Lozada hit an RBI single to center.
JU returns to A-Sun action this weekend at Campbell beginning on Friday at 4 p.m. The game can be followed on GameTracker on JUDolphins.com.