clemson rallies late knocks jmu baseball 9 4
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Clemson rallies late, knocks off JMU baseball, 9-4

jmu logoTrailing 3-2 in the eighth inning, Clemson rallied for seven runs to defeat JMU 9-4 in a non-conference baseball game on Saturday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

CU, which is ranked 26th by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, improved to 27-19 while JMU fell to 15-29. It was the second loss of the day by the Dukes after leading a ranked opponent heading into the bottom of the eighth.

Matt Campbell picked up the win in relief to improve to 3-0 after recording the final out of the eighth inning when the Dukes had rallied for two runs to take a 3-2 lead.  Starter Matthew Crownover struck out nine with two runs allowed on four hits in 7 2/3 innings.

Senior right-hander Trent Cundiff (Roanoke, Va./Northside) allowed all seven runs in the eighth to take the loss and fall to 1-2. JMU sophomore Mark Gunst (Fairfax, Va./Paul VI) allowed two runs, one earned, on eight hits in six innings as the starter.

Freshman left fielder Josh Wyatt (Eden, Md./James M. Bennett) was 2-for-3 with a run scored for the Dukes. Senior designated hitter Nick Merullo (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand) doubled and walked with an RBI and a run scored.

Clemson banged out 15 hits with six Tigers posting multiple hits in the game. Right fielder Steven Duggar had two hits with two RBIs and two runs scored. Second baseman Steve Wilkerson had the lone extra-base hit of the 15 with two RBIs and a walk.

Tyler Krieger’s single in the first scored the first run of the game for Clemson, but Merullo scored on a wild pitch in the next frame to tie it at 1-1. That score held until the fifth when a walk and an error contributed to the go-ahead run for the Tigers.

After being stymied by Crownover into the eighth inning, redshirt sophomore shortstop Kyle Weston’s (Penn Laird, Va./Spotswood) two-out double chased the starter. The Dukes loaded the bases and a walk by senior third baseman Ty McFarland (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) pushed in the tying run. After the second pitching change of the inning, another walk by Merullo gave JMU a lead at 3-2.

However, four batters into the eighth inning, Clemson tied it on Jay Baun’s RBI single up the middle. Jon Mcgibbon singled to drive in the go-ahead run and Duggar’s two-run single provided a 6-3 margin. Garrett Boulware’s run-scoring single and Wilkerson’s two-run double made it 9-3.

The Dukes picked up a final run on sophomore Bobby San Martin’s (Fairfax, Va./Centreville) RBI groundout.

JMU will take the week off for semester examinations and will resume Colonial Athletic Association play with its final home games next weekend against Northeastern at 6:30 p.m.

Staff/Wire

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