Bucknell takes series with win at JMU
David Duffett and Travis Clark each drove in four runs as Bucknell posted a pair of five-run innings to defeat James Madison 13-6 and claim three out of four games in the non-conference weekend series on Sunday afternoon at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.
BU improved to 4-2 overall while JMU fell to 2-5-1. The Dukes won the series opener 12-1 on Friday before then dropping the next three 8-6, 22-6 and 13-6.
Bucknell scored in the first inning for the fourth straight game to take the early lead, built a comfortable lead with a five-run fourth and added five more in the seventh after the Dukes had closed to within four through six.
Duffett and Clark each doubled to finish with two hits and four RBIs for the afternoon. Center fielder Bob Donato was 3-for-5 with a double, three runs and a walk. Right fielder Gerry Runyan and left fielder Mark Figgie each had two hits with Figgie scoring three times.
Bryson Hough picked up his first collegiate win, limiting JMU to four runs, two earned, in six innings and allowing six hits.
Sophomore first baseman Ty McFarland (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) went 4-for-4 for JMU with a double, walk and three runs scored. For the four-game weekend, McFarland went 11-for-17 (.647) with three doubles, four RBIs and seven runs scored.
Freshman shortstop Chad Carroll (Oakton, Va./Oakton) was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Junior catcher Bradley Shaban (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) had a single, hit by pitch, sac fly, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Freshman Ben Garner (Burke, Va./Paul VI) took the loss for JMU after allowing five runs, three earned, on five hits in 3 2/3 innings.
For the fourth time in the series, Bucknell struck first in the first inning as Donato stayed hot with a double down the right field line. He moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on an RBI groundout by Duffett.
The Bison picked up a leadoff double again in the second, this time by Runyan, who advanced to third when first baseman Russell Seidell reached on an error and scored unearned on shortstop Robb Scott’s sacrifice fly to left.
Another leadoff runner led to a Bucknell run in the fourth as Runyan singled. He moved to second on a bunt and was awarded third on an interference call on the play. He then scored on a sacrifice fly by Scott. Figgie and Donato added back-to-back singles to plate another run and make it 4-0 for the Bison. Bucknell kept the inning going with a walk and Duffett reaching on an error to score run number five. That proved costly as Clark followed with a two-run single to make it 7-0.
Figgie led off the Bucknell sixth with a bunt single. He moved to second on a Donato single and scored on a single by designated hitter Carter Bumgardner. The Dukes recovered to get back-to-back close fielder’s choice outs at third followed by a ground out to escape any further damage.
JMU put together a rally in the sixth as junior center fielder Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield) and McFarland opened with singles and Shaban was hit by a pitch with one out. Senior designated hitter Evan Scott (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) drove in a run on a grounder to second and reached when the first baseman’s foot came off the bag. With the bases still loaded, junior left fielder Colby Roberts (Benton, Ark./Benton) lifted a high fly to right center. With the two outfielder’s colliding, Shaban was able to score all the way from second to make it a two-run sacrifice fly. Carroll followed with a single to right but Scott was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
After JMU’s big inning, the Bison mounted a two-out rally in the seventh as Scott singled and Figgie walked to chase Huffman. Donato drew a walk to load the bases and Bumgardner walked on four pitches to bring in a Bison run. Duffett followed with a two-run single up the middle and Clark drove in two more on a double just inside the third-base bag to make it 13-4 Bucknell.
JMU added two in the eighth as McFarland reached for the fourth time with a double and scored on Shaban’s single. After a walk, Carroll singled to left to score Shaban and make it 13-6.
JMU continues its 11-game home stand on Wednesday with a 4 p.m. game against Liberty.