Bucknell sweeps JMU baseball in twinbill
Big innings carried Bucknell to a doubleheader sweep, fighting from behind to top James Madison 8-6 in the opener and taking game two convincingly 22-6 in non-conference baseball action on Saturday afternoon at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.
Bucknell improved to 3-2 for the season while JMU dropped to 2-4-1. The Bison used a six-run sixth to rally for the win in the opener before adding innings consisting of seven, four and six runs in the second game while tying the record for hits allowed in a game by JMU with 25.
JMU built a 6-2 lead through five innings of game one with senior Josh Futter (Columbia, Md./Wilde Lake) cruising through an extended relief outing when Bucknell mounted its rally. With Futter entering his fifth inning of work, the Bison rallied for six runs on seven hits to take an 8-6 lead.
Alex Cillo held JMU hitless the final two innings for his first save of the season. Xavier Hammond worked two innings of relief allowing one run to pick up his first win of the season.
Futter worked four scoreless innings before being tagged with the loss with five runs allowed off seven hits.
Second baseman Travis Clark was 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Third baseman David Duffett and right fielder Gerry Runyan each had two hits with two RBIs. Center fielder Bob Donato also had two hits with a run and an RBI.
Third baseman Conner Brown (Richmond, Va./Godwin) was 2-for-4 with three RBIs, including a two-run home run. Sophomore first baseman Ty McFarland (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) was 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI. Junior center fielder Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield) and senior right fielder Ian Haynes (Danville, Va./Tunstall) were each 2-for-3.
In the second game, Bucknell took the early lead for the third time in the series with two in the first before blowing the game open with a seven-run inning and padding the lead further with four in the sixth before adding six in the ninth en route to the lopsided win.
The 25 hits by the Bison matched the JMU opponent record set by Georgia State in a 20-6 win on April 28, 2007. It was the first time an opponent tagged 20 runs on the Dukes since a 20-9 loss at Kennesaw State on April 24, 2010.
Bison starter Dan Weigel took a no-hitter into the bottom of the sixth before finishing with four runs, three earned, allowed on four hits in 7 1/3 innings of work to improve to 2-0.
Center fielder Bob Donato went 4-for-7 with two home runs, his second and third of the weekend, and a Bucknell record-tying eight RBIs to lead the Bison attack. Third baseman David Duffett was 5-for-6 with two triples, three RBIs and four runs while shortstop Carter Bumgardner broke a Bucknell record with four doubles, four runs and two RBIs while being plunked twice. First baseman Rob Krentzman and catcher Justin Meier each had three hits.
McFarland had two of JMU’s five hits with an RBI and a run scored. Sophomore Nick Merullo (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand) tripled with an RBI and run scored. Brown doubled with a run, RBI and two walks.
Freshman starter Aaron Hoover (Centreville, Va./Westfield) took the loss after allowing eight runs on nine hits in 2 1/3 innings.
JMU and Bucknell will conclude the four-game series Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.