‘Survive and Advance’ is usually a term saved for March and college basketball, but it also translates to the double elimination tournament being played at Lipscomb’s Dugan Field with the Atlantic Sun Baseball Championship.
Jacksonville became the latest example of that cliché in action with its 5-3 victory against top-seeded Stetson in the tournament’s third elimination game. The Dolphins now face that same situation again with a showdown against fourth-seeded Mercer, who already earned a 2-1 victory against JU on Thursday.
The Dolphins utilized strong pitching performances from three different hurlers, which included a three-inning save by Second Team All-Conference closer Chris Anderson to finish off Stetson, the regular-season champions.
“[Chris] Anderson was outstanding for us coming in the seventh as well as Appleby by getting that double play, while Eagerton has been a force us all year long even though he got a little tired out there today,” Head Coach Terry Alexander said of his Saturday pitching staff.
JU led throughout the game by picking up four runs in the first four innings to build their lead, but with a top-20 RPI team in the opposing dugout their lead was never safe as Stetson rallied to cut into the Dolphins’ advantage to two twice.
“[Stetson] is a quality team no doubt about it, we’re just going out there and try to play games as many as we can and win as many as we can and let it all shake out at the end,” Alexander on his team’s road ahead.
With three wins over the next 24 hours separating JU from its fifth A-Sun Championship in the past 13 years, the Dolphins will need the bats to come alive after only scoring eight total runs in their first three games.
“We just have to come out [against Mercer] and try our best by stretching out some runs and get behind some quality pitching,” Adam Brett Walker, the A-Sun Player of the Year pointed out.
The Bears will be awaiting the Dolphins at first pitch at 7:05 p.m. to see who will once again survive and advance.