JMU baseball on brink of elimination with Friday loss

jmu logoNick Ferdinand drove in five runs with three home runs and Delaware scored nine unanswered runs to pull away for a 12-4 victory on Friday afternoon at Bob Hannah Stadium to drop James Madison into seventh among tournament-eligible teams in the Colonial Athletic Association standings entering the final day of the season.

UD improved to 33-19 overall and 15-11 while JMU fell to 23-28 and 10-15 in the league.  The Dukes entered the final weekend with a one and a half game lead for the last of six available tournament spots.  However, Madison fell to Delaware for the second straight day and saw Hofstra sweep a doubleheader from first-place UNCW on Friday afternoon.

Hofstra sits at 11-15 entering Saturday’s noon home finale against the Seahawks while Northeastern is also 11-15 with a 1 p.m. road game at Towson, which won the first two series games.  JMU faces Delaware at 1 p.m. and needs a win combined with a loss by either Hofstra or Northeastern in order to continue its season. The CAA Championship is scheduled for Wednesday, May 22 through Saturday, May 25 at JMU’s Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.

JMU got early two-run home runs from junior first baseman Ty McFarland (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) and senior third baseman Bradley Shaban (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) to build a 4-3 lead after four innings.

However, Ferdinand’s second home run tied the game in the fifth and D.J. Long’s three-run home run in the sixth gave the Blue Hens the lead.  Delaware added three more in the seventh and two in the eighth to pull away for the convincing decision.

Adam Davis allowed four runs on seven hits in seven innings with seven strikeouts to improve to 5-7.  Redshirt sophomoreLuke Drayer (Hummelstown, Pa./Hershey) allowed two runs in 2/3 innings of work to take the loss and fall to 2-4.

Ferdinand finished 3-for-4 with a walk and the five RBIs.  Long was 2-for-5 with three RBIs, all on the home run.  E.J. Stoltzfus, Zach Lopes and Ty Warrington also had multiple hits as part of Delaware’s 14-hit effort.

McFarland went 3-for-4 with two RBIs on his third home run of the season. Shaban had two hits and also had his third homer of the season with his two-run shot. They combined for five of JMU’s eight hits in the game.

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