Ryan Hissey’s bases-loaded single capped a four-run uprising in the ninth as William and Mary won a wild Colonial Athletic Association Baseball Championship game, defeating James Madison 20-19 on Friday morning in a game suspended from Thursday evening.
W&M improved to 36-20 overall and advanced to Friday’s winner’s bracket game against Towson. JMU fell to 25-29 and turned around immediately for an elimination game against Northeastern.
The Tribe had scored 11 runs in the third inning to take a 12-3 lead when play was suspended Thursday. JMU picked up with a seven-run fourth and two-run fifth to tie the game at 12-12 Friday morning.
After W&M took a 16-12 lead after six innings, JMU rallied with four in the eighth to tie the score and added three in the ninth to take their first lead since it was 3-1 Thursday night. Ty McFarland smacked a two-run home run and Casey Goss added an RBI single to make it 19-16.
In the bottom of the ninth, a double play induced by JMU closer Chris Huffman made it two out with nobody on. However, a single and double made it 19-17 to bring the tying run to the plate. A walk and hit batter loaded the bases and Ryan Lindemuth singled on a one-ball, two-strike count through the left side to tie the score at 19-19. It was the 10th pitch of the at bat after six foul balls. That set the stage for Hissey’s single up the middle with no chance to retire the runner at the plate trying to score from second.
The rally made a winner of Matt Wainman (4-3), who had allowed three runs on five hits in two innings. Huffman (4-5) took the loss with the blown save after allowing four runs on four hits in two-thirds of an inning.
The game featured a CAA Championship record of 43 combined hits and was played in just over four hours. The teams combined to tie an NCAA record with 13 total hit batters including a CAA Championship record of eight hit batters by JMU pitchers.
In addition to the game-winning hit, Hissey went 4-for-6 with three runs and three RBIs for the Tribe. Jonathan Sarty had three hits with five RBIs with a double and triple. Three other players had three hits while two others had two hits and Michael Katz hit a three-run home run.
JMU had nine extra-base hits with six doubles, a triple and two home runs in the game. All nine starters plus one pinch hitter had a base hit with six posting multiple hits and six adding multiple RBIs.
Johnny Bladel was 4-for-6 with a career-high five RBIs with two doubles, a triple and his second home run of the season. McFarland had four hits and tied his career high with four RBIs with the home run and a double. Cole McInturff also had four hits for JMU while Bradley Shaban had his second three-hit game of the tournament.
After loading the bases for the seventh time in 10 tournament innings in the first but coming up empty, the Dukes broke through in the second. Tenaglia singled for his fourth hit of the tournament to lead off the second. McInturff lofted a double that carried over the left fielder’s head to the wall to plate the first run. Bladel then found the left center gap to make it 2-0 and McFarland drove one to the left-field line for a 3-0 lead.
After a leadoff strikeout in the second, W&M strung together three straight singles, the latter an RBI shot through the left side by Lowe. However, Bladel recovered to induce a 5-3 double-play groundout to maintain the 3-1 lead.
However, after escaping the jam in the second, the Tribe broke through in the third. A single and two hit batters loaded the bases with no outs. A single by Hissey drove in a run to make it 3-2 and Sarty delivered a big shot with a three-run double to the gap in left center for a 5-3 lead. W&M reloaded the bases and brought in run number six on a hit by pitch. A two-run single by Shaw made it 8-3 with a seven-run inning. Katz then unloaded a three-run shot to left field to make it 11-3 for a 10-run inning. The Tribe kept things going with an RBI triple before severe weather suspended play with the Tribe still batting.
Following the delay, Kevin Feehan got the Dukes out of the 11-run inning with two pitches. Then JMU answered W&M with a big run of its own. A Bladel RBI triple got things started. McFarland singled him in and two more singles, the latter by Shaban, made it 12-6. A hit batter loaded the bases and Goss picked up an RBI single. Tenaglia walked to make it 12-8 and Roberts lifted a sacrifice fly to make it 12-9. After a walk reloaded the bases, Bladel was hit by a pitch to make it 12-10. McFarland lofted a shallow fly to center field and Tenaglia was thrown out at the plate for the double play to end the frame.
JMU loaded the bases for the ninth time in 14 tournament innings in the fifth. Tenaglia lifted a sacrifice fly to make it 12-11. Roberts then blooped a high fly down the left field line that just dropped in between two fielders for an RBI double to the score at 12-12 after JMU entered the day trailing 12-3.
The Tribe dropped back in front quickly as a one-out hit batter and full-count walk were followed by an RBI single for Sarty for a 13-12 lead. Shaver added another RBI single to make it 14-12. An errant pickoff attempt at first base by the catcher allowed another Tribe run to score to make it 15-12 and push another runner to third.
W&M tacked on in the sixth. After a hit batter and a walk, Hissey stroked a ground rule double to center field to make it 16-12.
Koehler held off the Dukes until the eighth when pinch hitter Tyler Gregory led off with a double. McInturff singled him in and Bladel lofted a two-run homer to center to make it 16-15. JMU went on to load the bases with a single, walk and hit batter. Tenaglia then drew a walk to tie the score at 16-16.
In the ninth, McInturff led off with an infield single. Bladel socked a double off the wall in right, but McInturff was thrown out at the plate trying to score all the way from first. However, McFarland took care of things with a no-doubt shot to right field for his fourth home run of the season and an 18-16 lead. Madison kept things going with Goss’ RBI single adding an insurance room that proved to be not enough as the Tribe rallied in the ninth.