JMU baseball loses … again
Designated hitter Joey Wood’s two-out single in the bottom of the ninth scored Brandon Williams with the game-winning run as Georgia State topped James Madison 9-8 in the opening game of a Colonial Athletic Association baseball series on Friday night at the GSU Baseball Complex.
GSU improved to 10-13 overall and 3-1 in the CAA. JMU dropped its 11th contest in a row to fall to 5-16-1 overall, 0-7 in the CAA and 0-6 on the road.
The Panthers grabbed an early commanding lead with a six-run first inning. JMU cut the margin to 6-4 after three innings and scored twice in the seventh and once in the eighth to tie the score at 8-8.
JMU had an opportunity to keep the momentum going as junior second baseman Casey Goss (Springfield, Mo./Glendale) led off the ninth with a double, his season-high fourth hit of the day, and stole third base with one out. However, two strikeouts kept the Dukes from cashing in on the opportunity.
Georgia State then took advantage of free bases from JMU as Williams was hit by the first pitch of the inning. He moved to second on a one-out wild pitch and scored on a two-out, two-strike single to left by Wood for the game winner.
Jake Dyer earned the win after allowing one run on two hits with four strikeouts over the final 2 1/3 innings. Starter Justin Malone allowed seven runs, six earned, on 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Freshman Chris Huffman (Fort Defiance, Va./Fort Defiance) took the loss for the Dukes. He limited the Panthers to two hits in three innings of work before finally allowing the run in the ninth. Huffman was the sixth pitcher in the game for JMU.
Third baseman Drew Shields was 3-for-5 with a run scored for the Panthers. Center fielder Kody Adams, catcher Joel Van Asch and Wood each had two hits. Right fielder Jonathan Kolowich hit a grand slam in the six-run first inning.
Goss was 4-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. Freshman designated hitter Tyler Duke (Troutville, Va./James River) and senior right fielder Ian Haynes (Danville, Va./Tunstall) each had a pair of hits. Freshman shortstop Chad Carroll (Oakton, Va./Oakton) drove in two runs with a seventh-inning single.
JMU took a brief lead as junior center fielder Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield) tripled in the first and scored on sophomore third baseman Conner Brown’s (Richmond, Va./Godwin) RBI groundout.
A single and a pair of walks loaded the bases quickly in the bottom of the inning. A single by Van Asch scored one run and Kolowich followed with his grand slam to left. A walk by Wood chased senior starter Evan Scott (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) with just one out recorded. Second baseman Greg Bowder added an RBI double to complete the six-run frame.
JMU got one back on a Haynes single to score Duke in the second. Two more scored in the third when Duke reached on an error and Goss added an RBI bunt single to make it 6-4.
The Panthers went up 7-4 with an RBI single by Van Asch in the fourth with Hogan retired at home to end the inning. The Dukes added a run on a Goss double to score Duke in the fifth but GSU came right back with an RBI single by Adams in the fifth.
Finally, JMU received a two-out, two-run single by Carroll in the seventh and a sacrifice fly by McInturff in the eighth to set the stage for the ninth-inning finish. The Dukes stranded 10 runners in the game, including two in the eighth and one in the ninth.
Game two of the series will be Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.