BROOKLINE, Mass., – Left fielder Brad Burcroff went 3-for-3 with five RBIs and Northeastern pulled away from a 2-2 tie with seven runs over the three middle innings to defeat James Madison 12-5 in the opener of a Colonial Athletic Association baseball series on Friday afternoon at Friedman Diamond.
JMU had a three-game winning streak snapped while falling to 14-10 overall and 6-3 in the CAA. NU won its third game in a row to improve to 13-11, 3-7 in league play.
One game after setting a season high with 19 hits, the Dukes matched a season high with 19 hits allowed. Burcroff led the charge with a triple, a home run, a single and a sacrifice fly to drive in five runs. Designated hitter Justin Kessler also had three hits as all nine NU starters had a hit and eight had multiple base knocks. Only four of the 19 hits went for extra bases.
Freshman Nick Cubarney earned the win for NU after allowing three runs on six hits in five innings. He entered the day having only allowed one earned run and eight hits in 16 2/3 innings.
Sophomore Patrick Toohers (Florham Park, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) suffered a second straight rough start, allowing seven runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings while falling to 2-4. Over his last two starts, he has allowed 14 runs in 7 2/3 innings.
Senior second baseman Casey Goss (Springfield, Mo./Glenville) went 3-for-5 with two RBIs to pace JMU’s 12-hit assault. Juniors Ty McFarland (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) and Matt Tenaglia (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks East) both went 2-for-5 for Madison. Sophomore left fielder Chad Carroll (Oakton, Va./Oakton) extended a hitting streak to 17 games while senior center fielder Johnny Bladel (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) pushed his to 12 with a single and two walks. Junior designated hitter Conner Brown (Richmond, Va./Godwin) hit a solo home run.
With the score tied at 2-2, Burcroff led off the fourth with a solo shot that proved to be the game-winning run for the Huskies. Aaron Barbosa added an RBI single to make it 4-2. That began a run of scoring in five consecutive turns at the plate for NU.
A sacrifice fly by Michael Foster started the scoring in the fifth and Kessler added a two-run double for a 7-2 lead. JMU got one back in the sixth on Brown’s leadoff home run. However, the Huskies poured on two more with a Jason Vosler RBI single and Burcroff’s sacrifice fly.
JMU scored again in the seventh with an RBI single by Goss and added one in the ninth on Goss’ RBI groundout. NU picked up one in the seventh on Kessler’s RBI single after a leadoff triple by Foster. The final two Husky runs came in the eighth with an RBI single by Burcroff and another by Foster.
Game two of the series will be Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.