JMU baseball explodes for 23 runs in series-clinching win over Hofstra

jmu-logo-newThe James Madison baseball team racked up eight extra-base hits on Sunday afternoon, closing its home campaign with a 23-7 rout of Hofstra in Colonial Athletic Association action at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.

The Dukes’ 23 runs marked their highest offensive output since the second game ever played at Eagle Field: a 26-15 win over Bucknell on February 19, 2011. JMU needed just 15 hits to move to 18-29 (6-15 CAA) on the season as the Dukes tallied three home runs, none of which accounted for less than three runs. Hofstra fell to 19-29 (6-18 CAA) with the loss.

Junior third baseman Kyle Weston drove in six runs, scored three more and finished a single short of the cycle in a 3-for-5 performance that paced the Dukes’ offense on the afternoon. Junior shortstop Chad Carroll also turned in a 3-for-5 day, scoring three runs of his own and stealing a base.

Sophomore designated hitter Ky Parrott, sophomore first baseman Brett Johnson and junior catcher Bobby San Martin all notched multi-hit performances of their own as all nine JMU starters scored at least one run.

After Hofstra plated a run in the top of the first, the Dukes went on top with a three-run bottom half of the frame. Senior right fielder Kevin Husum walked to open the inning and Carroll was hit by a pitch to put two runners on, setting the stage for Weston to launch a 1-2 pitch over the fence in left-center and put JMU on top, 3-1.

The homer marked Weston’s second of the year, making him the seventh Duke with multiple home runs on the season. Freshman second baseman Kyle McPherson would walk and steal two bases, but was later stranded at third.

The Dukes would go up 4-1 in the second inning on Husum’s RBI single before erupting for a staggering 14 runs in the bottom of the third, with all but one run coming with two outs.

In the third, the Dukes would send 17 hitters to the plate as they drew six walks and took advantage of a crucial error. Of JMU’s seven hits in the frame, four went for extra bases. The Dukes also combined to hit for the cycle in the frame.

Weston drove in two runs with a triple to left field, while San Martin pulled a three-run homer to left field and Parrott capped the scoring with an opposite-field grand slam on a 3-1 pitch that staked JMU an 18-1 lead after just three innings.

The blast was San Martin’s third of the season, while Parrott’s gave him a team leading eight on the year and was just the second grand slam hit by a JMU player this year.

Hofstra would respond with four runs in the top of the fourth and tack on two more in the top of the seventh, but JMU’s five runs in the bottom of the sixth had put the game truly out of reach. Both Parrott and Weston hit doubles down the baselines in that inning, while Johnson added a two-RBI triple, his second of the three-game series.

Sophomore right-hander Brandon Withers picked up the win for JMU, throwing three relief innings to move to 2-0 on the year, while freshman Tucker McCoy earned his first save after yielding just two runs across four complete innings. Hofstra starter Adam Heidenfelder was saddled with the loss after surrendering four runs in 1 2/3 innings.

The Dukes are back in action on Tuesday evening when they travel to Lexington, Va., to face VMI in their final non-conference game of the season. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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