JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Michael Baumann threw seven innings of near-perfect baseball Friday night and received plenty of run support as Jacksonville University (28-21, 12-4 ASUN) won 8-1 over USC Upstate (22-27, 5-11 ASUN), clinching a spot in the ASUN Conference tournament. The Dolphins also re-took sole possession of first place with just five ASUN games remaining.
"It was really good to see Michael come out and give us a chance to get a lead," said Head Coach Chris Hayes. "When we got the lead he really took it and ran with it. Michael gave us seven strong innings, pounding the zone while continuing his momentum on the mound."
USC Upstate scored just one unearned run with Baumann in the game. The junior righty from Mahtomedi, Minn., struck out 10 while allowing just six hits and surrendering three walks. The Spartans scored their lone run of the game in the seventh. The leadoff batter singled to left, and with two outs advanced to second on a passed ball. An RBI single in the next at-bat put the runner across.
JU struck early and often, scoring in four of its eight innings at the plate. Mike Cassala got the hit fest started with a leadoff single to left in the second inning, and was joined on base by Evan Fernandez on a single to center field. Chris Lehane sac bunted both runners over, and Ruben Someillan got his ninth and 10th RBIs of the year with a single to right center field. After two innings JU led 2-0.
Scott Dubrule led off the third inning with a double down the right field line, and was joined on base by Angel Camacho, who was walked with no outs. Sam Armstrong smacked his sixth homer of the year over the right field fence, scoring all three Dolphins. JU led 5-0 after three.
Neither team scored in the fourth or fifth innings, but the Dolphins again lit up the scoreboard in the sixth. Someillan led off with a walk, then was advanced to second on a grounder from Dakota Julylia. A grounder from Nathan Koslowski put Someillan just 90 feet away from home with two outs, and Dubrule got his second hit of the game in the next at-bat, driving home Someillan with a single up the middle. After six innings JU held a 6-0 advantage.
The final two runs of the game came in the bottom of the eighth. Lehane singled up the middle to lead off the inning, and was joined on base by Someillan on a hit-by-pitch. A bunt single by Julylia loaded the bases, and Koslowski sac-flied out to center field to put Lehane across. Dubrule followed his example with a sac fly to left, scoring Someillan. JU went on to win 8-1 thanks to two combined no-hit innings from Tyler Santana and Shane Wise.
Casey Kulina (3-1, 2.92 ERA) will face Kevin Hickey (3-6, 4.96 ERA) Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m.
Tweetable Fin Facts
- Camacho's 18-game hitting streak came to an end Friday, but the sophomore still has a 21-game on-base streak after drawing a four-pitch walk in the third.
- Mike Cassala now has the longest active hitting streak with at least one hit in the last six games. He also has the second-longest active on-base streak, having reached safely in 14 consecutive games.
- Baumann now has 242 career strikeouts. He has 88 this season.