SUNDAY, MARCH 09, 2014
#17 Indiana Slips By Jacksonville in the Ninth
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville came up on the short end of a back-and-forth contest as #17 Indiana scored two runs in the ninth inning for a 7-6 win over the Dolphins on Sunday afternoon at Sessions Stadium.
Down 5-3 after six Jacksonville (4-9) fought back to take a 6-5 lead by scoring once in the seventh and two in the eighth. Scott Schaub (Ocala, Fla.) who was 3-for-4 on the day with three RBI and a run scored contributed in both innings. Schaub, who also had a two-run RBI single in the three-run third for the Dolphins, singled and eventually came around to score in a ground out in the seventh.
In the eighth the senior third baseman drew a bases loaded walk to tie the game at 6-6. Parker Perez (Winter Springs, Fla.) who started the day in center, followed with a two-out single through the left side to score Connor Marabell (Jacksonville, Fla.) and give the Dolphins a 6-5 lead. Jacksonville had the chance for more on the play, but a base running error led to an out at home and ended the frame.
Casey Rodrigue led off the ninth for Indiana (7-6) with a double for one of his three hits on the day. The Hoosiers eventually loaded the bases with no outs before an error behind the plate allowed two runs to come across and give IU the 7-6 lead. Sophomore Ryan Quintero (Miami, Fla.) would then close the door on the inning out of the bull pen for Jacksonville coming on to retire three straight. The Dolphins would then go in order in the ninth however to end the game.
I thought we did a good job of swinging the bats and competing today,” said Head Coach Tim Montez whose team out hit the hoosiers 14-11. “They didn’t put their tails between their legs when they got down, but unfortunately we have to learn to be able to pitch with the lead going into the ninth. Plus we still made a lot of fundamental mistakes and the base running errors haunted us once again.
The Dolphins took their 3-1 lead in the third on a RBI double by Dylan Dillard (Kissimmee, Fla.) and Schaub’s hit. Indiana came back with one in the third, two in the fifth and one in the sixth. In the sixth inning the Hoosier were poised to break the game open. IU placed two in scoring position with two outs and one run already across in the frame. RHP Adam Maxon (Oviedo, Fla.) would come on in relief however and keep the game right where it was out. Maxon ended the inning with a fly ball to center then sent the Hoosiers down in order in the seventh to set up the potential game winning rally for Jacksonville.
“The big decision I made was to use our closer Maxon in the middle of the ball game,” said Montez. “Sometimes the closing part of the ball game is not always in the ninth inning. Today it was in the middle of the game when we needed to keep it close to give ourselves a chance later on. Maxon came in, did his job and gave us a good 1.1 innings.”
Zach Gordon (St. Petersburgh, Fla.) retired the Hoosier in the eighth, but was the hard luck loser (0-3) as he allowed the first two to come on in the ninth before handing the ball off. Jacksonville starter Justin Russell (Jacksonville, Fla.) went 4.1 innings allowing four runs, three earned, on six hits with four strikeouts,
Along with Schaub freshman Alex Seifert (Lakeland, Fla.) had three hits today in his collegiate debut. For Indiana Evan Bell (1-0 ) picked up the win throwing just 1/3 of an inning. Kyle Hart earned the save.
“You get to know a lot about your players in different pressure situations in a game like this.” added Montez. “That’s part of learning and growing together as a team and a coaching staff. we need to put this behind us and focus to the big week of road games ahead. Looking at the big picture, the positive thing is we are starting to play better. It’s not always showing up in the win column right now, but if these guys stay with their approach and stay together I think it will turn around. We have a great opportunity to have it turn during conference play starting next weekend. We just have to keep grinding it out and do a better job of playing fundamental baseball.”
Jacksonville returns to action at the College of Charleston at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, followed by a weekend series against fellow Atlantic Sun member Lipscomb starting on Friday.