The James Madison baseball team scored seven runs across the final four innings on Sunday afternoon, but the Dukes’ comeback fell just short in an 8-7 loss to Towson as the teams wrapped up their Colonial Athletic Association series at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.
JMU bounced back from a 7-0 deficit, racking up 12 hits on the afternoon, but left eight runners on base as it fell to 15-25 (4-14 CAA). The Tigers also tallied 12 hits, with none going for extra bases, but took advantage of five errors to climb to 12-29-2 (6-12 CAA) on the year.
Junior shortstop Chad Carroll tied a career high for hits with a season-best 4-for-5 day at the plate, finishing a home run short of the cycle, driving in a pair of runs and scoring two more.
After Towson posted a five-run first inning and added two more runs in the fifth, the Dukes began digging themselves out of the 7-0 hole with five runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth. Sophomore first baseman Brett Johnson started the inning with a nine-pitch at-bat that ended with a bouncing single deep in the hole at shortstop that put him on base for the 23rd-consecutive contest.
Junior third baseman Kyle Weston followed Johnson with a single through the left side and Carroll ripped a 1-1 pitch down the left field line for a double that cleared the bases and cut the lead to 7-2 with no outs. Junior designated hitter Tyler Carroll later drew a seven-pitch walk and stole second base, putting runners on second and third with two outs for Husum.
The senior right fielder hammered the second pitch he saw over the left-field wall to bring both Carrolls in and cap the sixth-inning scoring at 7-5. The home run was the first of Husum’s collegiate career and made him the eighth different Duke to clear the fence this season.
The Tigers made it 8-5 on an insurance run in the eighth that would prove crucial, but JMU cut the lead to one run in the bottom half of the frame. Chad Carroll again proved crucial to the rally, leading off the inning by hammering a triple to the fence in right-center.
Junior catcher Bobby San Martin followed Carroll with a deep fly ball to right field that plated him with ease and cut the lead to 8-6. With two outs, Sciorra then drove his third single of the game up the middle and stole second base before Husum drew a five-pitch walk to put runners on first and second.
Despite a pitching change in the middle of his at-bat, sophomore left fielder Ky Parrott drove a 1-2 fastball into right-center to push Husum to third base and score Sciorra from second, making it 8-7. The Dukes couldn’t push the tying run across, however, and weren’t able to put a runner on base in the ninth.
Sophomore right-hander Ford Bradshaw did not surrender an earned run in 4 2/3 innings for the Dukes, striking out three and allowing just three hits after freshman Eric Yankey was relieved in the first inning and fell to 1-3 with the loss.
Freshman left-hander Colton Harlow added in 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, yielding just two hits as he closed out the contest. Junior Lee Lawler threw five complete innings for the Tigers, picking up the win to move to 3-5, while junior Austin Clark picked up his first save of the year, giving up just one hit in 1 1/3 innings.
JMU will be back in action on Tuesday evening when it travels to Lynchburg, Va., to take on Liberty in a midweek, non-conference bout. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN3.