JU Beats Sixth Ranked UCF

Dolphins’ Explosive Offense Thwarts the Knights

The Dolphins beat the Knights from UCF 13-9 in a rain-soaked slugfest at John Sessions Stadium. The offensive battle featured 21 total hits that included four home runs, five doubles and a triple between the two teams.

The Dolphins’ offense exploded early in the contest and continued throughout the remainder of the game as they pounded out 12 hits and had four players with multiple RBIs. Senior Angelo Amendolare, juniors Connor Marabell and Parker Perez as well as sophomore Austin Hayes, all had multiple RBIs in the contest.

Although the game remained scoreless through the first two innings, there was a

feeling in the air that the bats were going to come alive. Amendolare tripled in the first inning, but was left stranded after a hard hit ground ball to the pitcher from Marabell ended the threat.

Senior outfielder Cameron Gibson got the Dolphins’ offense started when he doubled in the bottom half of the third inning and then later scored when Amendolare singled to advance the runners. Marabell followed Amendolare with the first home run of the game and gave the Dolphins a 4-0 lead.

Senior pitcher Justin Russell got the start and seemed to be performing well with the lead, only giving up one run through five innings. It was in the sixth inning that Russell started to fall apart, allowing four runs and two home runs.

Russell was able to escape the inning without giving up any more damage, but he had given up the lead and the Knights had moved the game into a 5-5 tie.

Head coach Tim Montez made the quick decision to switch arms beginning in the seventh and he made the move freshman Spencer Stockton. But as Stockton was warming up, the Dolphins’ offense had another explosion.

As the beginning of the bottom half of the sixth got underway, the rain started to come down ever so slightly and the already damp fog became denser than before, making everything on the playing surface wet.

The Dolphins paired the unfavorable conditions with great base-running and were able to regain the lead over the Knights. As the Knights’ pitching staff found it harder

to locate their pitches, the Dolphin runners were making their way around the bases, scoring another three runs in the sixth and giving them an 8-5 lead that they would not give back to the Knights.

Stockton proved to be the right choice by coach Montez, as he cruised through three innings of work, striking out three, allowing only one run, and earning his second win of the season.

This was only the second win for the Dolphins in 2015 against teams that are ranked 15th or higher. The first came on Feb. 18 against then ranked no. 9 Florida State. The Dolphins hope to remain hot when they play host to Missouri State at John Sessions Stadium in a weekend series.