A grueling week of baseball came to a close for Jacksonville University baseball at the ASUN Baseball Championship, as the Dolphins (32-27) lost 5-2 to #2 seed Liberty in an elimination game at Melching Field on Saturday afternoon.
JU wraps up its fourth consecutive 30-win season in the semifinals of the conference tournament for the second straight year.
"Ultimately for us I think we just ran out of gas," said Head Coach Chris Hayes. "A lot of baseball, we ended up playing 45 innings in four days.
"Guys gave it everything they had, we just ended up falling a little short, but I was really proud of the effort and how they competed."
JU rode strong pitching from starter Tyler Santana to stay deadlocked with Liberty for the first five innings, as the junior only allowed one baserunner and struck out two over that stretch, sitting down 11 straight at one point.
The Dolphins then took advantage on offense when the first scoring chance presented itself in the fifth. Jacob Southern and Duncan Hunter drew back-to-back one-out walks and Ruben Someillan bunted them over, ending Liberty's starter pitcher's day. Cory Heffron greeted the Flames reliever with a sharp single to left on the first pitch he threw, driving in a pair to give Jacksonville a 2-0 lead.
Liberty came back in the sixth to take the lead for good. Ten men came to the plate in an inning that saw five runs score on six hits, two of them for extra bases off of three different JU pitchers.
Jacksonville tried to rally in the seventh, when Angel Camacho led off with a double and advanced to third on Ruben Someillan's two-out single, but that is as close as the Dolphins would come to scoring the rest of the way.