Longwood wins at JMU

Longwood University took a 6-4 baseball road victory at James Madison University of the Colonial Athletic Association Tuesday night in Harrisonburg.

The hard-earned triumph was the 900th career coaching win for veteran 33rd-year Lancers’ head coach Charles Buddy Bolding (900-492-4). The Lancers improved to 28-15 and were led by senior captains Brant Jones|Richmond (Monacan) and Chris Briere|Midlothian (James River) with three hits and two hits respectively, including a home run each.

Freshman Cory Ramsey|Petersburg (Matoaca) pitched 7.1 solid innings against the Dukes (31-17), while junior captain and closer Mark Montgomery|Williamsburg (Bruton) earned his 10th save. Longwood will play again on Wednesday night, May 11, remaining on the road at VMI of the Big South Conference in Lexington beginning at 6 p.m.

Longwood took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning when freshman Matt Dickason|Chesapeake (Indian River) (2-4) was hit-by-a-pitch to open the game and later scored on a two-out RBI single by sophomore Justin Lacy|Glen Allen (J.R. Tucker) (3-4, rbi). The Lancers made it 3-0 in the fourth as Jones (3-5, rbi) singled to lead-off the inning, moved to third on a single by Lacy, and scored on a run-scoring single from freshman Scott Burkett|Williamsburg (Jamestown) (1-5, rbi). Lacy crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly off the bat of junior Robby Newman|Virginia Beach (Salem) (0-4, rbi).

James Madison closed to within 3-1 with a run in the fifth following a lead-off double by Evan Scott (1-3) who scored on a ground-out from Cole McInturff (0-4, rbi). Longwood added another run in the sixth to lead 4-1 when junior Dustin Sollars| Midlothian (Cosby) (0-3) walked to lead-off and later scored on a one-out RBI single by Briere (2-5, 2 rbi). The Lancers made it 5-1 in the seventh as Jones led-off the inning with a solo home run to left field, tying him for the team-lead with five homers this season. Briere duplicated the at-bat to lead-off the eighth, hitting his solo home run to left field as well, his second homer this year for a 6-1 advantage.

The Dukes made it interesting with three runs in the eighth to reduce the margin to 6-4. JMU loaded the bases with one out against Ramsey who was replaced by sophomore Kyler Morgan|Lancaster, Pa. (Lampeter-Strasburg) who only faced two batters. McInturff had reached on a fielder’s choice and scored courtesy a wild pitch by Morgan, while Johnny Bladel (1-5) singled and later scored via another Morgan wild pitch as well. Matt Tenaglia (1-3, rbi) added an RBI single for the third run that scored Jake Lowery (0-3) who had walked. Montgomery, however, was able to stop the rally with a grounder and a strikeout sandwiched around a walk. In the ninth, the Dukes managed a lead-off walk against Montgomery who balked and wild pitched the runner over to second and third, respectively, before the hard-throwing right hander struck-out the final three batters, including Lowery (who has hit 21 homers this season) to end the game.

Ramsey (6-3) took the pitching victory for Longwood with his 7.1 innings, scattering four hits and four runs, all earned, with three walks and two strikeouts against JMU who leads Division I in scoring (9.5 runs) and ranks fourth in batting (.324). Montgomery went the final 1.2 innings, yielding no hits and no runs with two walks and four strikeouts. He has allowed only two runs in 21 appearances this season covering 29.1 innings (0.61 ERA) with 47 strikeouts (14.42).

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