JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University (23-16, 8-1 ASUN) continued winning in somewhat unconventional ways Wednesday in a 10-6 victory over Florida A&M (19-17, 9-6 MEAC). The Dolphins swept the season series against the Rattlers and stretched their winning streak to 11 games, the most games JU has won in a row since 1994.
"We're playing well right now," said Head Coach Chris Hayes. "We're making mistakes here and there, but we're still playing well enough to overcome them. Our guys get better every game out, but we still need to continue to push and play better baseball each day. We've got to keep working the process and stay in the moment, having absolute concentration in every moment. That's the message for the team."
Mark Potter started the game off hot with three and a third scoreless innings. The freshman from Melbourne, Fla., allowed five hits and one walk while striking out one, but trusted his defense as he worked his way out of a couple sticky situations with relative ease. The 6'7" righty was relieved by Greg Shannahan in the fourth. Potter experienced some discomfort after having to duck on a relay from left field to the shortstop to the plate that picked off the runner.
Shannahan and Mike Cassala combined for three and two-thirds innings of hitless baseball, and Logan Wonn and Andrew Ciocia worked around a few runs scored in the eighth and ninth innings to preserve the win for JU.
"It was great to see Mark Potter do what he did today," said Hayes. "He felt a little discomfort, so we decided not to take any chances. I was very happy to see Greg come back strong in his second appearance since returning from an injury, and Mike Cassala had two clean innings for us as Wonn and Ciocia cleaned it up in the end."
With two outs and a pitcher's count in the bottom of the second, Zack Smith ignited the Dolphin bats with a hard-hit single to third base. The junior outfielder from Jacksonville, Fla., just outran the relay from third to first, and he stole second before Connor Stephens doubled him home. A wild pitch put Stephens on third, and Dakota Julylia continued the two-out onslaught with an RBI single through the second-basemen's glove. After Julylia stole second Nathan Koslowski plated the final run of the inning on a double to centerfield. After two JU led 3-0.
Koslowski led off the fifth inning with a double to right, and Scott Dubrule imitated his redshirt-senior counterpart with a double to almost the same spot, scoring Koslowski. Angel Camacho advanced Dubrule with a single, stretching his hit streak to 11 games. Dubrule scored on an error by the catcher, and Camacho was scored by a pinch-hit double from Chris Gau. A sac fly from Southern scored Sam Armstrong, and after five JU led 7-0.
Hits by Dakota Julylia, Koslowski, and Camacho plated two more for JU in the sixth, and the Dolphins wrapped up their scoring output in the seventh on an RBI single by Julylia that careened into center field after bouncing off the FAMU pitcher. Jacksonville outscored Florida A&M 10-6.
"With Koslowski at the top doing what he's doing and Camacho swinging the bat the way he is, it's been a bonus to have everyone else we put in the lineup compete in every at-bat," concluded Hayes. "To see Dakota start swinging the bat at the end of the lineup has been a huge lift for us."