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JMU baseball snaps long losing streak

James Madison rallied from an early five-run deficit and stole a school-record 11 bases to post a 15-13 win at Georgia State in a Colonial Athletic Association baseball game Sunday afternoon at the GSU Baseball Complex.

JMU improved to 6-17-1 and snapped its school-record 12-game losing streak and its eight-game skid in the CAA, also a program record.  The Dukes won for the first time since a March 4 home win over Lafayette and won their first road game of the season.  GSU fell to 11-14 overall and 4-2 in the CAA.

Altogether, JMU posted an 11-run turnaround in the game as the Dukes rallied from an early 7-2 deficit to take a 15-9 lead with a six-run eighth inning.  Madison took its first lead with a four-run sixth inning before the Panthers tied it with two in the seventh.  Georgia State scored four times in the eighth before JMU held on for the streak-snapping win.

The game was a contrast of styles as half of Georgia State’s 12 hits went for extra bases, including four home runs.  Meanwhile, 15 of JMU’s 16 hits were singles, but the Dukes also had eight walks, three hit batters, four Georgia State errors and the 11 stolen bases.  Madison had previously stolen 10 bases on three occasions, most recently twice in 1999.

Senior center fielder Ian Haynes (Danville, Va./Tunstall) went 4-for-4 with a walk, two RBIs and three runs scored to lead the offense.  Senior designated hitter Evan Scott (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) was 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs, two RBIs and a double for the only extra-base hit for the Dukes.  Junior second baseman Casey Goss (Springfield, Mo./Glendale) had his fourth straight multiple-hit game while freshman shortstop Chad Carroll (Oakton, Va./Oakton) also had a pair of hits.

Haynes and junior left fielder Colby Roberts (Benton, Ark./Benton) each accounted for three of JMU’s 11 stolen bases.  Carroll swiped a pair of free bases while Goss, freshman right fielder Tyler Duke (Troutville, Va./James River) and junior catcher Bradley Shaban (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) had one apiece.

Sophomore right-hander Trent Cundiff (Roanoke, Va./Northside) improved to 2-0 as the pitcher of record when the Dukes rallied for six runs in the eighth inning.  Redshirt freshman Michael Howerton (Chesterfield, Va./Matoaca) pitched a scoreless ninth inning to post his first career save.  At 24 games, it is the latest point for Madison’s first save in a season since at least 1996, which is as far back as save records were immediately available.

Caleb Gore took the loss as the fifth of eight pitchers in the game for Georgia State.  He allowed three hits with just one out recorded to begin the six-run JMU eighth inning.

The top five spots in the lineup combined for eight of GSU’s 12 hits and all 12 RBIs in the game.  First baseman Brandon Williams homered twice, a two-run shot and a three-run blast for five RBIs.  Right fielder Jonathan Kolowich had a three-run shot while designated hitter Joey Wood had a solo homer.  Third baseman Drew Shields was 2-for-2 with three runs scored and two RBIs.

JMU led 2-1 until Wood led off the GSU second with a solo home run.  The inning continued with a run scoring on an error and a Shields RBI single before Williams capped the six-run outburst with a three-run shot to right center to make it 7-2.

The Dukes got one back in the fourth on an RBI groundout by Duke after a double steal by Haynes and Roberts.  JMU loaded the bases in the fifth and Haynes delivered a two-run single to make it 7-5.

Madison kept the momentum going in the sixth with a four-run inning to reclaim the lead.  A double by Scott scored sophomore third baseman Conner Brown (Richmond, Va./Godwin) and Goss.  Junior Billy Logan (Greenup, Ky./Greenup County) hit a pinch-hit RBI single for his first hit of the season and Roberts added an RBI groundout.

The Panthers tied the game in the seventh as Shields hit a one-out single and Williams followed with a tying, two-run shot to left.

That set the stage for JMU’s six-run frame in the eighth.  With two on, Haynes reached on an infield single with a throwing error by the pitcher to score two runs and allow Haynes to reach third.  After a pitching change and a hit batter, a balk scored Haynes for the third run of the inning.  A double steal and a walk loaded the bases and Brown delivered a two-run single.  Shaban’s fielder’s choice ground ball drove in the sixth run of the inning.

A sacrifice fly by center fielder Kody Adams scored the first run of the eighth for Georgia State and Kolowich made it a two-run game with his three-run home run.

After JMU stranded runners on second and third in the ninth, Georgia State put two runners on in the ninth but a double play and a ground out finally ended JMU’s 12-game losing streak.

JMU returns home for a 6:30 p.m. game Tuesday against Virginia Tech.  It will be the first visit by the Hokies to Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.

augusta free press
augusta free press