JMU sweeps twinbill from Lafayette
Redshirt-senior Sean Tierney (Midlothian, Va./Clover Hill) threw a three-hit, complete-game shutout in the opener and freshman shortstop Chad Carroll (Oakton, Va./Oakton) delivered a ninth-inning, game-winning single in game two as James Madison swept Lafayette with 9-0 and 10-9 wins Saturday afternoon at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.
JMU snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 4-5-1 on the season and 4-3 on the current 10-game home swing. Lafayette dropped to 2-4.
In the seven-inning opener, Tierney threw just 80 pitches in the shutout, striking out four and walking two while facing just three batters above the minimum to move to 2-1 on the year. Gentile took the loss for the Leopards, going 4.0 innings and giving up 10 hits and seven earned runs.
The Dukes got the offense going and scored in each of the first five innings en route to the win. Eight players had base hits in the opener, with four with multiple hits led by Haynes 3-for-4 performance with one run scored and one RBI. JMU was aggressive on the base paths with five stolen bases in the opener.
In the first inning, Ian Haynes (Danville, Va./Tunstall), who was 5-for-9 in the doubleheader, got a one-out single and stole second for the first threat of the day. Ty McFarland (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) walked and both runners advanced on a balk by Lafayette pitcher John Gentile. Conner Brown then doubled to center field, scoring both runners and giving Madison an early 2-0 lead.
Madison added two in the second on a pair of RBI singles by Aaron Hoover (Centreville, Va./Westfield) and Haynes to go up 4-0. In the third, JMU got it going with two outs, as Chad Carroll (Oakton, Va./Oakton) singled to left center and was driven in by Cole McInturff’s (Centreville, Va./Westfield) triple to right center. Hoover then doubled down the left field line to score McInturff and make it 6-0 Madison through three innings.
JMU added a run in the fourth on a RBI by McFarland to go up 7-0. In the fifth, Colby Roberts (Benton, Ark./Benton(Crowder College)) got his first home run of the year, a two-run blast over the tall fence in right field, for the final 9-0 margin in the game.
In the second game, JMU led 5-0 through three innings and 8-2 after five innings. However, the Leopards struck for three in the sixth and four in the seventh to rally for the lead. The 9-8 score held until the ninth-inning rally.
Ian Haynes led off the JMU ninth with triple to right-center. McFarland was hit by a pitch, bringing Lafayette’s Jeff Snell in to replace Sean McGrath on the mound. Conner Brown singled through the left side, tying the game at 9-9.
After McFarland was picked off at second, Shaban fouled out by the JMU dugout for the second out. Conner Brown stole second to put a runner in scoring position before Carroll hit a deep single to left-center scoring Brown for the Dukes’ win.
Cody Miller picked up his first collegiate victory for JMU after quieting Lafayette for scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth when the Leopards had scored seven runs in the previous two innings. Snell took the loss for LC.
Brown, Shaban and Carroll combined for nine of JMU’s 13 hits in the 4-5-6 spots in the lineup. Shaban and Carroll, who had five hits for the day, each drove in three runs in the game.
JMU took an early lead on an RBI single by Bradley Shaban. After Shaban’s single scored McFarland, a balk by Lafayette’s Ethan Perro scored Brown from third base.
After a scoreless second inning, Ian Haynes recorded a one-out single and recorded his third stolen base of the day to start a third-inning JMU rally. Conner Brown was then hit by a pitch, bringing up Shaban with two on and two outs. Shaban singled to right, scoring Ian Haynes, and Chad Carroll’s Texas-leaguer behind first base scored Shaban and Brown to give the Dukes a 5-0 advantage.
Lafayette began to strike back in the fourth. After a one-out single by Kevin Casey, Brad Hopek hit a deep two-run drive over the right field fence to put the Leopards on the board.
The Dukes had another break-out inning in the fifth. After a lead-off walk by McFarland, Brown chased the Lafayette pitcher with a single to right field that advanced McFarland to third. With reliever Jack Rems now on the mound for Lafayette, Shaban singled off the right field wall, scoring McFarland before Carroll followed with a perfectly placed bunt down the third base line. Evan Scott, pinch-hitting for Aaron Hoover, hit a two-run single to right, scoring Brown and Shaban, and Carroll was thrown out at third for the Dukes first out of the inning. With one on and one out, McInturff struck out swinging and Colby Roberts flied out to center, stranding the runner on second and ending the inning.
Lafayette kept battling, striking for three more runs in the top of the sixth. Kevin Casey singled off reliever Nick Slogik after Andrew Ruck struck out in the leadoff spot. Slogik then hit Bobby Fargnoli with a pitch and walked Hopek to load the bases for Lafayette. Scott Kelleher then hit a two-run single down the right field line chasing Slogik from the game. Cundiff came on to relieve Slogik but worked himself into another jam, forcing JMU to bring Josh Futter on in relief. Futter walked Lafayette’s Davila to score the Leopards’ third run of the inning to make the score 8-5 JMU before striking out Santomauro to end the inning.
After a scoreless JMU sixth, Lafayette loaded the bases in the top of the seventh. A Lafayette hitting change forced the Dukes to bring in Micheal Howerton in relief of Futter, but a three-run double by James McCool tied the game at eight apiece. Parker Hills’ run-scoring single put the Leopards on top 9-8.
The Dukes couldn’t muster any firepower in the bottom of the inning and after a scoreless eighth, the Dukes held Lafayette to one base runner in the top of the ninth to set the stage for the rally in the bottom of the inning.
The Dukes are back in action on Sunday, March 4, wrapping up the weekend series with Lafayette. First pitch is schedule for 1 p.m.