DeLand, Fla. - Stetson (33-10, 16-4 A-Sun) jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and then traded runs on its way to a 10-6 win over the University of North Florida (23-17, 12-11 A-Sun) Saturday afternoon at Melching Field. Stetson has now won each of the seven conference series it has played with three remaining on the season.
Although the Hatters have yet to secure a spot in the A-Sun tournament, they are currently one game ahead of the pace set by the 2000 team that set the all-time school record for wins in a season with 48. As a note, the 2000 team had to win four games in the A-Sun tournament and two more in the NCAA Regional to reach that mark.
For the second consecutive game on a weekend where the staff is short handed Stetson received a quality start on the mound. Junior Will Dorsey (Atlantic Beach, Fla.) threw eight innings allowing five earned runs on 11 hits while striking out six and walking none. Three of the six total runs he gave up came in the 9th inning after tossing over 100 pitches. Dorsey earned the win and is now 6-4 on the season. UNF's Kyle Westwood (Tarpon Springs, Fla.) took the loss and is now 2-4.
"What can you say about A.P. [Friday] and Dorsey [Saturday] giving us two quality starts on a weekend where we are short", said Stetson head coach Pete Dunn. "We have talked to this team all year about guys stepping up and picking up for somebody who doesn't get the job done or stepping in for somebody who gets hurt."
"What is most impressive about Dorsey today is that he was coming off throwing 40 pitches on Tuesday. We needed that effort", he added.
Joe Dye (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) picked up Dorsey in the 9th, allowed no runs, just one hit, and struck out a batter.
Offensively the Hatters spread out the attack with six players delivering two hits apiece. The outfield tandem of Jeff Simpson (Valrico, Fla.) and Spencer Theisen (Longwood, Fla.) each had two RBI as a member of that group.
Although Stetson put up one run in the 1st inning and three more in the 2nd, it was a five-run 8th inning that highlighted afternoon. The key hits of the inning were back-to-back triples by Nick Rickles (Loxahatchee, Fla.) leading off the inning and Mark Jones (Bunnell, Fla.) following right behind. RBI singles by Ryan Lashley (Lake Worth, Fla.) and Theisen, as well as an RBI double by Trey Blackman (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) sealed the deal.
"That five-spot in the 8th inning gave us the cushion we ended up needing. It is nice to get that cushion so you have a little bit to play with", said Dunn. "Now we gotta get the third one tomorrow. We've done a great job up until this point but we have to get greedy. We know they are going to come out and play just as hard and do everything they can to get the last one on get-away day. We have our work cut out for us but I think our guys will show up ready to play."
Stetson and UNF will be back at Melching Sunday at 1:00 p.m. for the final game of the series. Stetson fans can see the games on Hatter Vision at GoHatters.com with Bill Topping calling the action. Tickets for home games are available at the gate or can be purchased online at GoHatters.com or by calling 738-HATS.