Dolphins get first series win of season

Baseball takes two out of three against Winthrop

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The JU Dolphins were able to break away from their losing slump when they took two out of three this  weekend from Winthrop.

After losing a tight pitching duel Friday night in which the Dolphins were only able to get five hits but were kept in the game by the work of sophomore Josh Baker, JU bounced back with authority on Saturday, when junior Alex McRae pitched a complete game shutout, recording a career high 11 strike-outs and only allowing five hits. Behind McRae’s incredible performance, the Dolphins were able to walk away with a 4-0 win and a positive outlook on Sunday.

“Phenomenal job today by Alex. He took a big step forward today,” said Tim Montez, head coach.

It was Montez’s first win at John Sessions Stadium as head coach.

“I felt good out there today. Braddock (Rowe) called a great game behind the plate and the defense backed me up with a couple of double-plays,” McRae said.

At one point on Saturday, McRae had retired 10 straight batters. His 11 strikeouts are the most since Chris Anderson had 13 back in March of 2013. Anderson was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first round of this past year’s draft.

The Dolphins didn’t allow themselves to cool off one bit heading into Sunday’s game, recording a season high 15 hits on their way to a 8-0 win for their first series win of the season.

Junior Justin Russell threw six shutout innings bringing the total of consecutive scoreless innings by JU starters to 22. Russell’s performance, paired with the great offensive showing, was all Montez needed to steer his club to victory.

“It was a good weekend for the starting pitchers, they took a plan into the weekend and executed it,” Montez said. “We can enjoy this now for 12 hours then it’s back to work on Monday. We have a very good nationally ranked Indiana team coming in next weekend that can absolutely swing the bats. It’s going to be a tremendous test for our staff and great experience for our quest to continue to get better as a group and as we enter conference play in a couple weeks.”

The Dolphins have the week off as they prepare for their 3-game series with the Hoosiers, who made it to Omaha last season after knocking out FSU in the Super Regionals of the post-season tournament. Game 1 is on Friday at 6pm at John Sessions Stadium.

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