JMU baseball rips Bucknell, 12-1, in series opener
A balanced offensive effort tallied 20 hits and senior left-hander Sean Tierney (Midlothian, Va./Clover Hill) surrendered one run in six innings as James Madison defeated Bucknell 12-1 on Friday afternoon at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.;
JMU improved to 2-2-1 overall while Bucknell dropped to 1-2.
Each member of the starting lineup recorded a hit in the game and seven players posted multiple hits. The 20 hits for the Dukes were the most since tallying 21 last April 17 at UNC Greensboro.
After a leadoff home run in the game by Bucknell center fielder Bob Donato, JMU responded quickly with three in the bottom of the inning. The Dukes added one in the third before blowing the game open with a five spot in the fourth to take a 9-1 lead. JMU added a single run each in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings en route to the 12-1 final.
Tierney allowed the leadoff home run before settling down to work six innings, including working out of a pair of jams with runners in scoring position. He allowed seven hits and struck out five to improve to 1-1 for the season.
Starter Ryan Ebner took the loss for Bucknell after allowing nine runs on 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Junior second baseman Casey Goss (Springfield, Mo./Glendale), sophomore first baseman Ty McFarland (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) and sophomore third baseman Conner Brown (Richmond, Va./Godwin) each had three hits for the Dukes. Freshman shortstop Chad Carroll (Oakton, Va./Oakton), junior left fielder Colby Roberts (Benton, Ark./Benton), junior center fielder Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield) and senior right fielder Ian Haynes (Danville, Va./Tunstall) each had two hits. Roberts and Brown entered the day a combined 3-for-26 at the plate before combining to go 5-for-8 with two walks for the day.
In addition to Donato’s solo shot, second baseman Carter Bumgardner, third baseman David Duffett and right fielder Gerry Runyan each went 2-for-4 for the Bison.
After the Bucknell home run, JMU got on the board in the bottom of the frame as Goss doubled and Carroll walked to lead things off before a McFarland single drove in Goss. Junior catcher Bradley Shaban (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) lifted a sacrifice fly to left to give the Dukes the lead and Roberts added a single through the right side for the third run of the inning and a 3-1 JMU lead.
Shaban led off the JMU third with a double, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on senior designated hitter Evan Scott’s (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) sacrifice fly to center field to make it 4-1.
Haynes led off the fourth with a sharp liner to center with the ball rolling all the way to the wall for a triple as the fielder lost it briefly in the sharp sun. Goss drove him in with a single, then scored on McFarland’s double to the wall in left center. With two outs, McFarland scored on a single through the left side by Brown, who then scored on a double off the wall in right by Roberts. Scott greeted new Bucknell pitcher Dan Goldstein with an RBI single to make it 9-1.
JMU added a run in the sixth on an RBI single by Haynes, one in the seventh on a single by Brown and one in the eighth on an RBI groundout by Haynes.
The Dukes and Bison continue the four-game set with a noon doubleheader on Saturday.