Saturday afternoon, at John Sessions Stadium, at Jacksonville University the Bisons beat the Dolphins 7-5 for their first Atlantic Sun win of the season. The Bisons, who also ended an eight-game losing streak, are 8-15 overall, 1-4 in the conference. Jacksonville is 14-9, 5-3 in the A-Sun.
“Our confidence has definitely been boosted,” Bisons’ coach Jeff Forehand said. “After losing the first four conference games we breathed a sigh of relief. It was a momentum changer for us.”
The Bisons didn’t make it easy for themselves. Starting pitcher Connor Sinclair, 2-3, spotted Jacksonville two runs in the first on three singles.
But starting with two runs in the second inning the Bisons scored seven runs before the Dolphins struck for three more in the eighth.
Catcher Matt Brewer drove in both runs in the second for the Bisons on a home run to left field, his first round-tripper of the season. Josh Chism had walked to start the inning.
In the fourth the Bisons scored four runs capitalizing pitching and fielding errors by Jacksonville as well as a two-RBI double to left center by Ricky Coleman and RBI-singles by Kyle Henry and M.L. Williams.
In the seventh Tennyson Dodd slammed a double down the left field line, his seventh of the season, to score Shawn Mehring.
Right-hander Josh Cotham gave up a single to lead off the ninth, but struck out the next two batters he faced and forced the last one to pop up to end the inning and the game. Cotham picked up his second save of the season.
The Bisons were out-hit 11-7, but Jacksonville committed four errors.
“The six, seven and eight hitters really contributed and knocked in some runs,” Forehand said. “That took some pressure off of the guys at the top of the order.”
Sinclair pitched seven innings. He scattered eight hits and did not walk a batter. He struck out eight.
“Connor gave up three hits early, but he didn’t waver or panic,” Forehand said. “He went six scoreless innings after that before we had to take him out.”
Left-hander Chris Nunn pitched a third of an inning in the eighth and gave up two runs on one hit. Chad From, a right-hander, also made a brief appearance in the eighth allowing one run, one hit and one walk.
“Chris came in to start the eighth,” Forehand said. “He did his thing, but we made a couple of mistakes behind him. Fromm came in and didn’t have it and then Cotham shut them down.”
Leading the Bisons at the plate was Henry with two hits. Coleman and Brewer both had two RBI.
“Friday night with bases loaded Kyle hit a 100-mile-per-hour shot up the middle that the pitcher caught at his waist,” Forehand said. “I am going to say he has hit a ball in half of the games we have played that should have gone in for a hit and driven in some runs and he has had nothing to show for it. Hopefully, he can build on this game.”
The series concludes Sunday afternoon at noon. The Bisons are sending right-hander Dannie Strable, 2-3, 5.01 ERA, to the mound in an attempt to win the series. Jacksonville has not announced a starter.
“Jacksonville has a good team,” Forehand said. “We have to take advantage of what we did in this game.
“They are not sure who they are going to start. They might be running a little thin in their pitching.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.