On Friday, the Owls made another impressive comeback against their conference rival and found an interesting way to do it.
Trailing by three runs going into the bottom of the seventh, Kennesaw State scored all five runs with two outs in the inning, en route to a 5-3 win at Stillwell Stadium.
Aaron Dobbs came through with a bases-loaded triple to erase the Owls' deficit. Two batters later, Andy Chriscaden gave Kennesaw State its first lead with a two-run double, and the bullpen then made it stick.
"To come back twice is important, and it instills a lot of confidence in the guys," Kennesaw State coach Mike Sansing said. "It makes coaches a little nervous, but I was proud of them for the fact that we were able to come back on (Jacksonville) two nights in a row."
The victory guaranteed a series victory for Kennesaw State (32-22, 18-10) and a top-three finish in the Atlantic Sun standings. Completing a sweep of Jacksonville this afternoon would lock up a No. 2 seed for next week's Atlantic Sun tournament next weekend in Nashville, Tenn. A loss would put the Owls in at No. 3.
Going into Friday's game, Jacksonville (33-20, 18-11) was five games behind Stetson as the A-Sun's second-place team, but the Owls now have the second spot claimed by a half-game.
And they've done it by winning games in dramatic fashion.
In the series opener, Will Howard sparked Kennesaw State's rally with a three-run homer in the sixth inning, then added two more RBIs in the seventh as the Owls went on to win 10-8.
On Friday, Kennesaw State batted around in the seventh to score all five of its runs, and the rally didn't start until Jacksonville recorded two quick outs to start the frame.
It all started when Chris Wages hit a two-out grounder that made it out of the infield for only Kennesaw State's fourth hit. Howard then came through with a bloop single to right on a 1-1 count.
That put leadoff hitter Sean McClurken at the plate with runners on first and second. Jacksonville starter Tony Mollica worked a quick 1-2 count before contact was made by McClurken, who hit a slow roller down the third-base line and beat it out to load the bases.
That set up Dobbs' game-tying triple, which landed deep in center field.
"I was trying to get a good pitch to hit," Dobbs said. "I was trying to lay off a ball and find the gap, and I did. It felt great. I actually didn't have a hit at that point in the game. It felt kind of good, especially with us being down three runs and it being a three-RBI hit."
With the game tied and Dobbs on first, Jacksonville gambled by intentionally walking Ronnie Freeman to face cleanup hitter Chriscaden. Chriscaden then made the Dolphins pay with a double to left.
The double brought home Freeman, who scored from first and beat the tag to score.
Kennesaw State made it through the top of the eighth with little drama, but things got a little hairy in the top of the ninth.
Two infield errors put Jacksonville runners on second and third with two outs, with cleanup hitter Adam Walker coming up to bat.
But Walker, who had a .415 average going into the game, couldn't solve J.B. Johnson. The Kennesaw State closer went on to strike Walker out swinging to collect his eighth save.
Former Lassiter pitcher Steven Janas made his second start for Kennesaw State and was solid for five of his six innings on the mound. His only rough patch was in the second, when he gave up two runs on four hits, three of which were doubles. Janas settled down afterwards, giving up just two hits in the next four innings.
Janas, who got a no-decision, finished with six strikeouts and gave up one walk. He faced the minimum in his last three innings of work.
Jeff Brown (2-0) got the win, pitching the seventh and eighth innings.