Mount St. Mary’s knocks off JMU in extras

Mount St. Mary’s used three hits and a pair of James Madison errors to plate three runs in the 11th inning and pull out a 9-6 victory in a non-conference baseball game Wednesday afternoon at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.

The Mount improved to 2-9 with the win while JMU dropped to 5-7-1.

JMU held a 4-1 lead until the Mountaineers struck for a five-run inning in the sixth, capped by a three-run home run from designated hitter Mark Quaranta.  The Dukes tied it in the bottom of the inning before the teams traded goose eggs for four innings heading into the 11th.

In the 11th, singles by right fielder Ryan Owens and third baseman Michael Foster put runners on the corners with one out.  After a steal, Quaranta grounded to first.  With the Dukes attempting for the out at the plate, the throw got away for an error as the Mountaineers took the lead.  First baseman Josh Winter drove in a second run with an infield single and a throwing error by the shortstop compounded the damage to allow another run to score for a 9-6 lead.  JMU was limited to a two-out single in the bottom of the inning.

Left-hander Dan Horner was lights out in relief for the Mount, allowing one hit and striking out six in five shutout innings of relief.  He worked in relief of starter Karl Lamont, who allowed 12 of the 13 JMU hits in six innings.

Quaranta finished with four RBIs for the Mountaineers.  Second baseman Brandon Scott was 2-for-4 with a solo home run, two runs scored and two RBIs.  Owens and Foster also had a pair of hits.

Eight of nine starters for the Dukes posted hits in the game.  Sophomore catcher Nick Merullo (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand) was 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI in his first career start behind the plate.  Freshman second baseman Tyler Duke (Troutville, Va./James River) was 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI in his first career start.  Junior shortstop Casey Goss (Springfield, Mo./Glendale), sophomore third baseman Conner Brown (Richmond, Va./Godwin) and junior center fielder Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield) also each had two hits with an RBI.

Freshman Chris Huffman (Fort Defiance, Va./Fort Defiance) took the loss as the last of seven pitchers for Madison as he allowed the three runs in the 11th.  Freshman right-hander Michael Howerton (Chesterfield, Va./Matoaca) allowed a single and the three-run home run before settling down to allow just two walks over the next 14 batters he faced.  Sophomore Tyler Thornton (Merrick, N.Y./Calhoun) worked two scoreless frames in the start while freshman Ben Garner (Burke, Va./Paul VI) was scoreless for 2 1/3 in relief.

In the bottom of the first, senior right fielder Ian Haynes (Danville, Va./Tunstall) led off with an infield single and switched places with Goss after a fielder’s choice.  Goss stole second and scored on a two-out single by Brown for the first run of the game.

The Dukes got a couple more two-out RBI hits in the second as Merullo singled with one out and moved to second on a bunt.  Redshirt freshman first baseman Ryan Kilmon (Virginia Beach, Va./Kellam) drilled a double over the center fielder’s head to plate Merullo and then scored on a double to the corner in left by Duke, his first career hit, to make it 3-0.

The Mount put its first run on the board in the third with a solo home run from Scott.

The 3-1 score held until the fifth when Haynes drew a two-out walk and came around to score on a triple to left center by Goss for a 4-1 score.

The Mountaineers began their five-run sixth by manufacturing a run as Healy walked, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Owens to make it 4-2.  Another single by Scott drove in catcher Andrew Clow to make it 4-3.  Quaranta capped the five-run rally with a three-run home run just over the fence in left field.

JMU answered back in the bottom of the inning as Brown led off with a double pulled inside the bag at third base and into the corner in left.  Junior left fielder Colby Roberts (Benton, Ark./Benton) dropped a bunt single to put runners at the corners.  Merullo grounded out up the middle to score Brown with the first out.  McInturff dropped a similar bunt single to third with the throw getting away to allow Roberts to score and tie the game at 6-6, where it stood until the 11th-inning rally by the Mount.

The loss wrapped up a 10-game home stand for the Dukes, who went 5-5 in that span.  JMU begins Colonial Athletic Association play on Friday with a 4 p.m. game at UNCW.


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