Wildcats Top Jacksonville in 3-2 Comeback Victory
DAYTONA BEACH, FLa. - With a dramatic finish in the late innings, the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (10-9) came away with the comeback victory over the Jacksonville Dolphins (5-12), Wednesday night at Jackie Robinson Ballpark, breaking a two-all deadlock with a single run in the bottom of the eighth, and Jordan Dailey secured the 3-2 win with his fourth save of the season and a new program mark for appearances.
The Wildcats opened the scoring in the bottom of the second with a single run. Shifting to first base with Anthony Stokes on the mound, Eric Sams collected B-CU's first hit with a double to deep left field, and crossed the dish on the next pitch, as Brandon Turner split the infielders with an RBI single up the middle.
Putting up another outstanding performance, Stokes stood his ground on the hill against the Dolphins, pitching five complete innings, allowing just four hits, no walks, no runs and striking out two.
"He was great again," Beverlin said. "Any time that we've given him the ball, he's done everything we've asked and more."
The Dolphins jammed up Sams, who moved to the mound in relief in the top of the sixth, as back-to-back base hits put runners in scoring position, and a short single to center brought home a pair of runs to give JU a short-lived advantage.
The Wildcats responded in the home half of the frame, as Sams again opened the hitting with a single through the middle and Turner followed with another base knock. Catcher Clay Middleton logged his first RBI on a single up the middle, tying the game at 2-2 as Sams crossed the plate.
"You can do one of two things when faced with that kind of adversity; you can either punch back or you can feel sorry for yourself," Beverlin said. "I was glad to see we punched back and ended up pulling that one out."
The Wildcats would threaten again in the seventh, missing on a bases-loaded situation. However, in the eighth, B-CU capitalized on JU miscues to send the victory final. Pinch hitter Jake Welch reached as a hit batter, was sacrificed to second by Josh Johnson and made third on a groundout. Welch went on to score the eventual winning run as McCarty reached on a fielding error by JU third baseman, Scott Schaub, giving B-CU the 3-2 advantage.
Dailey entered the game in the top of the ninth for his 10th appearance of the season, and 90th of his four-year career, surpassing Joseph Munoz (89) as the modern era leader at B-CU in pitching appearances.
"I think it's really quite a record, due to the fact that it means you've pitched all four years of your career," Beverlin said.
Dailey went to work quickly, downing the Dolphins for the 3-2 win, extending B-CU's home record to 7-2 on the season.
Pitching one inning in middle relief, Christopher Waltermire (1-1) logged the win, while Dailey earned his fourth save of the season.
Throwing 1 2/3 late innings for JU, Zach Gordon (1-3) takes the loss, while starter Wes Torrez pitched 4 2/3 innings with five hits, one run, and seven strikeouts.
Leading B-CU at the plate, Sams went 2-for-3, scoring two of B-CU's runs, while Turner was also 2-for-3 with an RBI.
The Wildcats (10-9, 5-1 MEAC) return to Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) action this weekend, as they travel to Greensboro, N.C. to face North Carolina A&T (5-11, 1-2 MEAC), which topped Lehigh, 17-8, in home non-conference action on Wednesday.