JMU’s Munson honored after big week
Edited by Chris Graham
James Madison junior closer Kevin Munson (Roanoke, Va./Cave Spring) was named Colonial Athletic Association Co-Pitcher of the Week after a week that included a pair of key league wins along with being listed on the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Midseason Watch List for the National Stopper of the Year award.
Munson was the winner in each of JMU’s weekend wins over UNC Wilmington as the Dukes claimed a key CAA series win, their fifth straight this season. Munson went 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and seven strikeouts over a total of 6 1/3 innings.
On Friday, he entered in an 11-11 tie in the seventh after UNCW had rallied from a 10-3 deficit and scored in each of the previous five innings. Munson entered with a runner on base and retired seven of eight batters faced while JMU pulled out the 12-11 win. On Sunday, he entered in the sixth with a runner on and JMU trailing 5-4. He proceeded to work his longest outing of the season, striking out four over the next four innings while the Dukes rallied with two in the eighth for the 6-5 win.
For the season, Munson is now 6-0 with six saves to factor directly into 12 of JMU’s 20 wins. He has a 0.76 ERA, 51 strikeouts, and a .150 opponent average in 35 1/3 innings. Munson shares the league lead in both wins and saves, sits third in strikeouts, and falls just two outs shy of the one-inning-per-game minimum standard or he would lead the league in both ERA and opponent average as well.
Munson is JMU’s all-time saves leader with 19, which also ranks sixth in CAA history. He shares the JMU season record of nine from last year, and already sits in a tie for fourth with this year’s saves total of six. If his numbers hold, Munson has a shot at breaking the CAA single-season ERA record (1.19 with minimum 45 innings, held by current Baltimore Oriole Cla Meredith), while he is also currently tied for second in the CAA in career ERA, matching the JMU all-time record of 2.20 held by Greg Whiteman (1992-94). With 21 appearances, he is on pace to break the JMU season record of 29 while needing 32 to reach the CAA top 10.
Those numbers helped Munson late last week to earn recognition on the NCBWA Midseason Watch List for the 2010 Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I. Munson was the only CAA representative on the list of 45 candidates. He was also on the organization’s preseason watch list and on the 2009 midseason list. The national saves leader along with four other finalists will be announced as the final five candidates for the award on June 2 prior to NCAA Regionals.