JMU baseball falls to Northeastern, 3-2

jmu logoNortheastern scored three second-inning runs that would prove to be the difference on Saturday afternoon as the James Madison baseball team dropped a tough, 3-2 decision to the Huskies in Colonial Athletic Association play at Friedman Diamond.

The Dukes outhit Northeastern, 7-4, on the afternoon but stranded six baserunners as they fell to 12-20 (2-9 CAA) on the season. Despite only tallying four hits, including just one that went for extra bases, the Huskies took advantage of their chances to improve to 13-20 (6-5 CAA) in 2015.

Sophomore left fielder Josh Wyatt took advantage of his first start since April 1, going 3-for-4 with a double and a run to pace the JMU offense. The Dukes’ 1-5 hitters all picked up at least one hit, while sophomore first baseman Brett Johnson extended his hit streak to eight games and his reached-base streak to 15 games with an RBI single in the eighth.

Northeastern did all of its damage early on Saturday, plating all three of its runs in the bottom of the second. After Cam Hanley led off the frame with a single, catcher Josh Treff slapped a double to right-center. With Hanley moving on the pitch, he scored all the way from first to put the Huskies up 1-0.

From there, Northeastern used an RBI single, a sacrifice bunt and a pair of JMU errors to stake itself a 3-0 lead after two complete innings.

JMU struck back for a run in its next at-bat after Wyatt ripped an 0-1 pitch down the left field line for a two-out double. Sophomore designated hitter Ky Parrott bounced a two-strike single up the middle that was snagged on a dive from the second baseman. Parrott beat the throw to first but the ball got away, permitting Wyatt to round third base and cut the lead to 3-1.

The eighth inning almost saw the Dukes turn the tables after senior right fielder Kevin Husum and Wyatt opened the frame with back-to-back singles. After a flyout, Johnson drilled the first pitch he saw through the hole into right field to bring Husum home and make it 3-2. However, the Huskies turned a 5-4-3 double play to escape the threat and JMU went down in order in the ninth to close things out.

The Dukes used three pitchers to blank Northeastern in every inning except the second. Freshman left-hander Eric Yankey took the loss on the day, despite yielding just four hits and striking out a career-high seven across his five-inning start.

Sophomore right-hander Brandon Withers struck out four for the fourth time in 2015 while not allowing a hit and walking just one in his two innings of work, before handing off to freshman left-hander Colton Harlow, who struck out one in a hitless eighth inning.

JMU and Northeastern will conclude their three-game series on Sunday afternoon with a 12 p.m. contest. Live audio and video will both be provided.

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