JMU gets sweep, holds on to first place in CAA
Edited by Chris Graham
Redshirt senior Brett Garner (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock) connected on a solo home run with one out in the bottom of the ninth to give James Madison a walk-off 5-4 win over Delaware to earn the Colonial Athletic Association series sweep on Sunday afternoon at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.
JMU improved to 24-19 with its fourth straight win. The Dukes improved to 14-4 in the CAA to remain in first place with their second series sweep of the season and sixth straight series win. Delaware fell to 20-21 overall and 3-12 in the CAA.
The Dukes trailed 4-3 going to the bottom of the ninth thanks to the strong starting effort of Delaware ace Brian Rorick. However, Rorick was relieved by Matt Harden in the ninth after 145 pitches.
With one out, redshirt junior first baseman Trevor Knight (Charlottesville, Va./St. Anne’s-Belfield) singled. With Garner batting, Knight stole second, then also took off for third on the next pitch. The throw by catcher Todd Menchaca got away to left field to allow Knight to score the tying run.
Facing a full count, Garner blasted a solo shot the opposite way to right center for his first JMU walk-off home run in the final home game of his five-year career. It was his 16th career home run and fifth of the season.
JMU was in position for the win thanks to another superb pitching effort by junior Kevin Munson (Roanoke, Va./Cave Spring). He entered with two on and two outs in the fifth and proceeded to pitch the final 4 1/3 innings, allowing one hit with three strikeouts to improve to 7-1. The only hit was an infield chopper to third with one out in the ninth.
Harden took the loss for Delaware after allowing two runs on two hits in the ninth, falling to 1-3. The loss wasted a tremendous outing by Rorick, who allowed three runs on nine hits with seven strikeouts on 145 pitches in eight innings.
Knight went 3-for-5 with a solo home run, three runs, and two RBIs for JMU. Redshirt senior right fielder Matt Townsend (Lorton, Va./Hayfield) had a pair of hits.
Third baseman Carlos Alonso, designated hitter Steve Ulaky, and left fielder Pat Dameron each had two hits for Delaware with Dameron also walking twice.