Three batters recorded three-hit games led by freshman Josh Wyatt (Eden, Md./James M. Bennett) with four RBIs and JMU took advantage of five hit batters and three Hofstra errors to post a 9-4 series-clinching win in a Colonial Athletic Association baseball game on Sunday afternoon at University Field.
JMU won its first series of the season to improve to 11-17 overall and 3-2 in the CAA, tied for third in the early standings. HU fell to 10-11 overall and 1-2 in the league.
Playing for the first time in a week, Wyatt went 3-for-3 with four RBIs, a hit by pitch and a sacrifice fly. He had never previously driven in more than one run in a game in his college career. Wyatt was joined with three hits by senior third baseman Ty McFarland (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) and senior right fielder Tyler Gregory (Dothan, Ala./Houston Academy).
Sophomore catcher Bobby San Martin (Fairfax, Va./Centreville) was hitless in two at bats but drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and scored twice with two hit by pitches. In 14 plate appearances in the three games, he was 5-for-8 with two doubles, a walk, four hit by pitches and a sacrifice fly for a .714 on-base percentage.
Sophomore right-hander Mark Gunst (Fairfax, Va./Paul VI) allowed four runs, three earned, on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings to pick up the win. Senior right-hander Trent Cundiff (Roanoke, Va./Northside) worked 3 1/3 innings, one out shy of his career high, and allowed just one hit and one walk to pick up his second save.
Starter Graham Tebbit took the loss after allowing six runs, five earned, on five hits in 2 2/3 innings. The three subsequent relievers held JMU to three unearned runs in the final 6 2/3 innings.
Designated hitter Ryan Donovan drove in two Hofstra’s four runs with two hits while third baseman David Leiderman and right fielder TJ Ehrsam also posted multiple hits.
Both teams scored three runs in the second inning in identical fashion with JMU scoring twice on a triple to right field from redshirt sophomore shortstop Kyle Weston (Penn Laird, Va./Spotswood) along with a sacrifice fly from Wyatt. The Pride also got a two-run triple by Donovan and added a Taurinsky sacrifice fly.
The Dukes followed with another big inning in the third, pushing four runs across to take a 7-3 lead. After a McFarland single Conner Brown (Richmond, Va./Godwin) hit by pitch, redshirt senior Matt Tenaglia (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks East) singled through the right side to reclaim the lead. San Martin’s sacrifice fly scored Brown. Weston reached on an error to set up two more runners in scoring position, and Wyatt singled up the middle to score both unearned.
Hofstra got one in the bottom of the third on Matt Ford’s RBI groundout, but JMU pitchers shut down the Pride for the remainder of the game. The Dukes padded the lead by taking advantage of another error in the seven to score runs on a double by Gregory and a single by Wyatt.
JMU will be home on Tuesday for a 6 p.m. night game hosting No. 1 Virginia at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.