JMU takes two of three from ODU

Edited by Chris Graham

Junior right-hander Turner Phelps (Roanoke, Va./Lord Botetourt) posted his most dominant start of the season, striking out 10 in a complete nine innings to lead James Madison to a series-clinching 4-1 win at Old Dominion in a Colonial Athletic Association contest on Easter Sunday afternoon at the Bud Metheny Complex.

“Today was another great outing from the Turner Phelps we’ve known for most of the first two years of his career,” commented head coach Spanky McFarland. “He struck out 10 and walked two. We got some timely hits and did the little things we needed to do to win another series.”

JMU won for the ninth time in 11 games to improve to 15-12 overall and 6-3 in the CAA. It was the third straight series win for the Dukes, who have also taken two of three against George Mason and Towson. ODU dropped to 13-19 overall and 2-4 in the CAA.

Phelps picked up his first complete game of the season, striking out 10 and allowing just seven base runners on five hits and two walks. It was the fourth complete game of his career and the first double-digit strikeout performance by the Dukes since current redshirt junior Trevor Knight (Charlottesville, Va./St. Anne’s-Belfield) struck out 14 last April at Delaware.

This time Knight led the offense with three hits, all singles, an RBI, and a walk. He extended his JMU season-best hitting streak to 17 games. Redshirt senior catcher Brett Garner (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock) tripled, walked, and drove in a pair of runs. Sophomore designated hitter Jake Lowery (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) had the other RBI for the Dukes.

Designated hitter Edgar Hernandez had the lone RBI for ODU in the Monarchs’ five-hit attack. Chris Boggs fell to 0-4 with the loss for ODU, allowing all four runs on eight hits in six innings.

ODU grabbed the early lead with the RBI double by Hernandez in the first inning, which snapped Phelps’ streak of 13 innings without an extra-base hit allowed.

JMU knotted the score in the second as junior shortstop David Herbek (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) singled and redshirt senior right fielder Matt Townsend (Lorton, Va./Hayfield) walked. After a double steal, Garner lifted a sacrifice fly to center for the tying run.

The Dukes took the lead for good in the fourth as senior third baseman Matt Browning (Mystic, Conn./Fitch) led off with a double. He moved to third on a popup and scored on a foul sacrifice fly by Lowery. Townsend singled with two outs and came around to score on a triple by Garner for the 3-1 lead.

JMU added its final run in the fifth as freshman center fielder Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield) was hit by a pitch, stole second, moved to third on a groundout, and scored on a single by Knight.

ODU had just three base runners in its final five turns at bat with the only real threats on a leadoff double in the fifth with the runner then stranded and a first-and-third with two outs in the seventh with both runs stranded.

JMU will be back in action on Tuesday with a 6 p.m. game at No. 1 Virginia, which was rescheduled from March 2.

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