Home Walk-off blast lifts JMU baseball over Minnesota, 9-7

Walk-off blast lifts JMU baseball over Minnesota, 9-7


jmu logoRedshirt-sophomore first baseman Brett Johnson blasted his first career home run, a three-run shot, over the left field wall to cap off a five-run bottom of the ninth as the James Madison baseball team came all the way back to earn a 9-7 walk-off win over Minnesota on Friday afternoon at the PK5 Classic, hosted by VCU at The Diamond.

The Dukes surrendered three runs in the top of the ninth to put themselves in a 7-4 hole, but notched four straight base hits on just six pitches to cut the lead to one before Johnson connected on a 2-1 pitch to lift JMU to a 9-5 record in 2015. Minnesota fell to 5-8 on the year with the win.

Junior third baseman Kyle Weston went 4-for-5 at the plate, scoring a run and stealing a base while senior right fielder Kevin Husum put together a much-needed 3-for-4 performance with a run scored.

Redshirt-junior shortstop Chad Carroll went 2-for-5 with a run and two RBI to reach base for the 15th consecutive game dating back to the 2014 season while sophomore designated hitter Ky Parrott was 2-for-5 with a homer, two RBI and two runs.

JMU struck first in its opening at-bat when Parrott launched a two-out home run over the right field wall that snuck just inside the foul pole. The blast was Parrott’s second of the year,which is tied for the team lead, and JMU’s eighth in 2015.

After Minnesota evened the score in top of the second with its own solo shot, the Dukes jumped on Minnesota starter Ben Meyer for three runs in the bottom half of the frame. Freshman second baseman Kyle McPherson walked to start the inning before Husum singled and junior catcher Bobby San Martin walked to load the bases with no outs.

Freshman center fielder Michael Sciorra pushed the first run across when he was plunked by a 2-2 offering, then Carroll bounced a single through the left side to score two more and put JMU up 4-1.

As the Dukes’ bats fell quiet, the Gophers climbed back to tie things at 4-4 with runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings, before exploding for three runs in the top of the ninth.

Minnesota started the frame with a single-bunt-single sequence that made it 5-4, before a JMU error extended a rally that eventually loaded the bases. The Gophers then used a deep sacrifice fly to center and a single to right to score two more and put the Dukes in a 7-4 hole before JMU escaped the frame.

After a leadoff popout, Carroll singled to left to start the Dukes’ ninth-inning rally. Sophomore left fielder Josh Wyatt ripped a triple over the right fielder’s head to make it a two-run lead and immediately scored on Parrott’s bouncing single through the left side.

Weston picked up his fourth hit of the day with a first-pitch single to right that moved Parrott to second, setting up Johnson’s big blast to seal it. The homer, Johnson’s first as a Duke, was JMU’s ninth of the year and made the Charlottesville, Va., native the sixth different JMU hitter with a long ball in 2015. It also marked the Dukes’ first walk-off home run since Colby Roberts beat Towson with a round-tripper on May 12, 2013.

Junior left-hander Aaron Hoover threw five quality innings in his fourth start of the year in allowing three runs and striking out three, but sophomore Michael Evans moved to 2-0 with the win after four innings of relief for the Dukes. Brian Glowicki, who entered with one out in the eighth, took the loss for Minnesota to drop to 1-1.

JMU will be back in action on Saturday when they face host VCU in a contest scheduled to get started at 2:30 p.m.Currently, first pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., but weather predicted for the Richmond area could cause changes in the schedule.



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