W&M pushes JMU baseball losing streak to eight
Senior left fielder Tadd Bower’s two-run home run in the eighth inning lifted William and Mary to a 3-1 victory over James Madison in the middle game of a Colonial Athletic Association baseball series on Saturday night at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.
W&M clinched the series after also claiming Friday’s game and improved to 14-7 overall and 3-2 in the CAA. JMU dropped its eighth game in a row and fell to 5-13-1 overall and 0-5 in the CAA
In a pitcher’s duel, the game was a 1-1 tie after seven innings with the Dukes scratching a run across in the fifth and the Tribe posting one in the seventh.
In the eighth, center fielder Ryan Brown reached on a single off the diving glove of JMU sophomore Conner Brown (Richmond, Va./Godwin) at third base. After a pop up, Bower lifted a high fly to left that sailed just over the leap of junior Colby Roberts (Benton, Ark./Benton) at the fence for a two-run home run to put the Tribe ahead 3-1.
Jay McCarthy worked a scoreless eighth to complete his 3 1/3 no-hit innings in relief while improving to 3-1 for the season. John Farrell retired three batters in order in the ninth for his fourth save. The duo combined to retire the final 13 JMU batters in the game.
Redshirt freshman Michael Howerton (Chesterfield, Va./Matoaca) took the loss in relief after allowing three runs on five hits in three innings. Five of his nine outs came via strikeout. Freshman right-hander Patrick Toohers (Florham Park, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) was lights out for six innings, allowing just one hit and hitting three batters while striking out five. He carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning.
JMU was limited to six total base runners in the game. Freshman shortstop Chad Carroll (Oakton, Va./Oakton) was 2-for-3 with a walk
After stranding runners on the corners in the fourth, JMU finally broke through in the fifth inning when senior right fielder Ian Haynes (Danville, Va./Tunstall) laid down a one-out bunt single and reached second when the throw got away. An infield single by junior second baseman Casey Goss (Springfield, Mo./Glendale) put runners on the corners with one out. Roberts then sent a grounder to shortstop and beat the throw to first to avoid the double play and score Haynes with the first run of the game.
That score held until the seventh when first baseman Michael Katz greeted new JMU pitcher Howerton with a double to the gap in right center. After a strikeout, a bunt single put runners on the corners. A wild pitch advanced the runner to second and an intentional walk loaded the bases. With the infield playing in, Goss fielded a grounder to second but couldn’t get the ball out of his glove in time to get the out at home, instead settling for the out at first as the Tribe tied it at 1-1.
The two teams will conclude the series on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.