Dantzler started the year as Tech's left fielder and was hitting over .300 and Jacob began the year as the closer on the pitching staff. Both players have missed almost two months of the season. Their return to the lineup has pumped new life into the team.
The series with Miami began with Dantzler hitting .303. By the time Miami had left town, Dantzler had gone 7 for 11 and was hitting .338.
Jacob entered the series without an appearance since March 13th. He entered Friday night's game in the 8th inning and pitched like he hadn't missed a beat. Jacob struck out all three batters he faced. "It was just awesome being back," said Jacob. "Everything felt good." Jacob threw in an inter-squad game earlier the week and felt comfortable when he made his first appearance.
Kevin's appearance Friday night came without facing any real pressure made it easier for him when he took the mound Sunday in the rubber game of the three game series. Jacob entered the game attempting to protect a small lead. "Friday was kind of an ideal situation with not too much pressure that allowed me to get back in the swing of things," said Jacob. "Sunday the nerves came back like they always do."
Jacob feels that he's almost all the way back to where he was at the beginning of the season. "I pretty close to 100%," said Jacob. "I'm not going to be able to start a game but I couldn't do that before anyways."
Dantzler's performance came at the right time for the Jackets. It was the most important series of the year so far," said Dantzler. "To win the series against these guys is a huge accomplishment."
Considering how long he'd been out of the lineup, Dantzler looked really comfortable at the plate against Miami. "I felt good at the plate this weekend and was seeing the ball well," said Dantzler. "I kept the swing short and sweet and it worked out well."
One important component of the series win against Miami was their ability to win Sunday without playing long ball. The Jackets parlayed four or five bunts into runs to win the game. "It's good for us to show that we can do a little bit of everything," Dantzler added. "It's good to show we can play a little bit of small ball and get around the bases."
Trailing 3-0 and missing on some run scoring chances earlier in the game, the Jackets didn't feel like all was lost. "We still felt confident the whole way through," said Dantzler. "No matter where we're at in the game, we know we can come back and get the win."
The win over Miami led by the contributions of Dantzler and Jacob moved the Jackets to the second best overall record in the conference. They face an important three game series on the road this weekend against Boston College to finish the regular ACC season. At stake is a possible first place finish. The series begins on Thursday with three early afternoon starts.
|Kevin Jacob||Jay Dantzler|