JMU splits doubleheader with George Washington
JMU rallied for three runs in the seventh to send a seven-inning game to extras and won 5-3 with two runs in the 12th in game one before then being four-hit by three pitchers in a 5-2 George Washington win in game two in a non-conference baseball doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Barcroft Park.
JMU sits at 19-23 following the split while GW is 16-27. The doubleheader was scheduled to be a seven-inning game followed by one of nine innings, but the second game was reduced to seven when the first went 12 innings. Pending weather, the teams are scheduled to conclude the series Sunday afternoon at JMU’s Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park at 2 p.m.
Game One – James Madison 5, George Washington 3 (12 Innings)
James Madison had just four hits and trailed 3-0 heading into the seventh and final inning. However, the Dukes got on the board with a RBI double to right field by senior outfielder Colby Roberts (Benton, Ark./Benton). With two outs, senior infielder Casey Goss (Springfield, Mo./Glenville) kept things going with a RBI single and senior outfielder Cole McInturff(Centreville, Va./Westfield) capped off the rally with the tying RBI double.
After a strong outing by redshirt sophomore Michael Howerton (Chesterfield, Va./Matoaca), sophomore Chris Huffman(Fort Defiance, Va./Fort Defiance) relieved and held the Colonials scoreless for the next five innings.
In the 12th, McInturff was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a balk call. He scored the go-ahead run with no outs on a double to right by senior Bradley Shaban (Midlothian, Va./Cosby). The Dukes added to the advantage with an RBI single by junior infielder Conner Brown (Richmond, Va./Godwin) to make it 5-3.
GW had two chances to win it in extra innings but hit into a 1-2-3 double play with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth and also had a runner thrown out at the plate by Roberts when the Colonial tried to score from second on a single in the 10th.
Huffman’s five scoreless frames improved his record to 3-4 and lowered his ERA to 3.60. Howerton worked seven innings allowing three runs, one earned, on five hits. They combined to limit GW to eight hits in 12 innings. Kenny O’Brien took the loss after allowing two runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings of relief.
Roberts was 3-for-6 with two doubles to pace the JMU offense. Brown, Goss, McInturff and Shaban each had multiple hits.
Right fielder Tyler McCarthy was 3-for-5 to lead the Colonials at the plate. Designated hitter Nolan Lodden and third baseman Eric Kalman each had a pair of hits.
Game Two – George Washington 5, James Madison 2 (7 Innings)
Aaron Weisberg limited the Dukes to just one hit before being chased in a two-run sixth that cut the GW lead to 3-2. However, Colin Milon escaped the jam and the Colonials added two key insurance runs in the bottom of the inning.
JMU had two runners on with two outs to bring up the potential tying run in the seventh and last inning. However, the Colonials turned to closer Craig Lejeune, who retired his only batter faced for his fifth save.
Weisberg finished with two runs allowed on four hits in 5 1/3 innings to improve to 5-4. Sophomore Patrick Toohers(Florham Park, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) allowed all five GW runs, three earned, on five hits with four walks to fall to 2-7.
Left fielder Owen Beightol was 2-for-3 with an RBI while shortstop Matthew Murakami was also 2-for-3 with a run scored for the Colonials. Catcher Robert Matthieu and center fielder Ryan Hickey each drove in two runs with one hit.
Brown was the only JMU player with multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.