Tribe completes sweep of JMU
Shortstop Ryan Williams broke a 2-2 tie with a leadoff home run as part of a three-run sixth inning as William and Mary defeated James Madison 5-2 to complete a three-game Colonial Athletic Association baseball sweep on Sunday afternoon at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.
W&M improved to 15-7 overall and 4-2 in the CAA. The Tribe entered the series having lost six in a row to the Dukes. JMU lost its ninth game in a row to fall to 5-14-1 overall and 0-6 in the CAA.
JMU scored two runs in the first inning but was then held in check the remainder of the afternoon as five W&M pitchers combined to scatter 10 hits.
Making his first appearance since the opening game of the season, reigning CAA Co-Pitcher of the Year Brett Koehler worked 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief, benefitting from the three-run sixth to earn the victory and improve to 2-0. John Farrell worked a quiet ninth inning for his second save in as many days and fifth of the season. Koehler, Jay McCarthy, John Sheehan and Farrell combined to limit JMU to four hits over the final six innings in relief of starter Matt Wainman, who allowed two runs on six hits in three innings.
Redshirt senior left-hander Sean Tierney (Midlothian, Va./Clover Hill) suffered the loss for JMU after allowing all five runs on seven hits in five innings. Freshman Aaron Hoover (Centreville, Va./Westfield) worked a scoreless 2 1/3 innings while sophomore Trent Cundiff (Roanoke, Va./Northside) tossed the ninth to keep JMU within striking distance.
Second baseman Kevin Nutter was 3-for-4 with an RBI and a walk for the Tribe. Right fielder Josh Smith was 2-for-3 with two RBIs as the No. 1 and No. 9 hitters combined for five of W&M’s 10 hits and three RBIs.
Junior left fielder Colby Roberts (Benton, Ark./Benton) and freshman shortstop Chad Carroll (Oakton, Va./Oakton) each had a pair of hits atop the JMU lineup. Eight out of nine members of the starting lineup recorded base hits, but the Dukes were unable to string enough together in a single inning.
After scoring a total of one run in its previous 29 innings, JMU jumped on the board quickly with its first two batters of the game as Roberts tripled over the center fielder’s head and Carroll added a triple to the corner in right field for a 1-0 lead. After a popup and a strikeout, Scott singled up the middle to stake the Dukes to a 2-0 lead.
However, after the early noise, the JMU bats went quiet the rest of the way. Meanwhile, in the second inning, W&M loaded the bases on a pair of walks and a hit batter. Smith then hit a hard liner to left for a sacrifice fly for the first Tribe run of the game.
JMU had a chance to add to the lead in the third as junior catcher Bradley Shaban (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) led off with a single before later being retired at third on a fielder’s choice. The Dukes went on to load the bases on a walk and a bunt single before a strikeout ended the threat.
In the W&M fifth, Nutter led off with a double before being retired on a sacrifice bunt attempt. However, the Tribe went on to load the bases with a walk and a single. First baseman Michael Katz then lifted a high fly deep to left center for a sacrifice fly to even the score at 2-2.
The Tribe took the lead the next inning in the sixth as Williams lifted a fly ball to left that carried just over the fence for a solo home run and a 3-2 score. W&M kept the inning going with a single by Aiken and an RBI double by Smith to chase Tierney and make it 4-2. Nutter then greeted freshman Ben Garner (Burke, Va./Paul VI) with an RBI single up the middle to complete the three-run inning.
JMU got two runners on in the sixth before W&M made a pitching change with one out. After retiring all 10 batters faced on Saturday night, McCarthy induced a double play groundout on his second pitch to end the threat and preserve the 5-2 score. Just one JMU batter reached on a Conner Brown (Richmond, Va./Godwin) single in the seventh among the final 10 batters as W&M closed the 5-2 victory.
JMU will be home again on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. to host Radford.