HARRISONBURG, Va., – The James Madison baseball team notched its first win of the 2013 season as the Dukes took down the Binghamton Bearcats 9-1 in the second game of the Saturday doubleheader. JMU had nine runs off of 12 hits with no errors while Binghamton plated one run off of eight hits with one error.
The Bearcats won the first match-up of the day 8-4 in their season opener. Binghamton scored eight runs off of nine hits with no errors, and JMU had four runs off of eight hits with three errors committed.
JMU now holds a 1-4 record while Binghamton opens the season at 1-1.
In the second game of the twin bill, senior center fielder Johnny Bladel (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) batted in a game-high four runs for the Dukes. Senior second baseman Bradley Shaban (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) had two RBIs and plated two runs off of two hits and a walk, including his first home run of 2013. Junior Ty McFarland (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) also tagged the Bearcats’ pitching staff for his first home run of the season, also the first of the year for JMU.
Redshirt sophomore Luke Drayer (Hummelstown, Pa./Hershey) pitched five innings in his collegiate debut, giving up one earned run off of seven hits, with three strikeouts and one walk to get the win. Freshman Mark Gunst (Fairfax, Va./Paul VI) came on in relief and threw four innings of scoreless baseball, giving up just one hit with two strikeouts and one walk for his first career save. The Bearcats’ Jay Lynch is credited with the loss as he gave up six runs (four earned) over 3 1/3 innings pitched.
Drayer started the game inducing a ground out and then was able to slam the door shut on a steal attempt by Bill Bereszniewicz following a single. The Bearcats struck, however, when Daniel Nevares drove Jake Thomas in from second base, the fourth straight hit given up by Drayer. After the leftie walked another Bearcat, he settled in and was able to get John Howell to ground out to second base, leaving the damage at just one run.
McFarland quickly pulled JMU even with Binghamton as he drilled a one-out home run over the wall in right center. A RBI double by junior Conner Brown (Richmond, Va./Godwin) plated junior first baseman Matt Tenaglia (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks East), who had reached on a walk, and gave the Dukes the lead for good at 2-1.
After a walk by senior left fielder Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield) to lead off the second inning, sophomore shortstop Tyler Duke (Troutville, Va./James River) was able to leg out a sacrifice bunt attempt when Nevares stepped off the bag too quickly. The Bearcats grabbed two quick outs, but Bladel smacked a two-run double over the center fielder’s head to give the Dukes a 4-1 lead.
Duke and Shaban had back-to-back singles to open the bottom of the fourth, and junior catcher Nick Merullo (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand) bunted the two over, putting runners at second and third with no one out for Bladel. The JMU center fielder struck again as he batted in Duke and Shaban off a single up the middle to bump the JMU lead up to 6-1.
Shaban notched his first home run of the season when he took an Anthony Grillini-pitch over the right field wall to put the Dukes up 7-1 in the bottom of the sixth. In the bottom of the seventh, McInturff tallied an RBI-single scoring McFarland from third base, and Tenaglia was just behind him when Shaban drew a walk, giving JMU their final 9-1 score.
BINGHAMTON 8, JMU 4
In the noon game of the doubleheader, Binghamton’s Jake Lambert notched the victory with just four runs over five innings pitched. The loss was given to sophomore Patrick Toohers, who gave up seven runs (six earned) over 3 1/3 innings pitched.
The Bearcats jumped on Toohers early with a single by Bereszniewicz followed by an RBI double to right center by Thomas. Another double by Nevares made it 2-0, and Smucker smacked a two-run home run to right for a quick 4-0 lead.
The Dukes earned two back in the second as McInturff and Goss led off the frame with singles through opposite sides of the infield. With two outs, Shaban smacked a two-run double off the wall in right field to plate both and cut the deficit in half.
Binghamton put two on with one out in the third on a pair of singles. Smucker then singled through the right side past a diving Tenaglia to score Thomas. On the throw home, Smucker moved to second and the ensuing throw to the bag from the catcher went into center field to allow a second run to score and make it 6-2.
In the bottom of the third, McFarland led off with a single up the middle and came around one batter later on Tenaglia’s double to the corner in right. Tenaglia advanced on a groundout and scored on McInturff’s RBI single up the middle to make it 6-4.
The back-and-forth two-run innings continued in the fourth, this time with a pair of unearned runs. After a walk and a steal, Bereszniewicz scored when Ruby reached on a throwing error. That was followed by an RBI double by Nevares to make it 8-4.
JMU and Binghamton will wrap up the four-game series with another doubleheader Sunday, Feb. 24 at Eagles Park at Veteran Memorial Field. First pitch is slated for 11 a.m., and the second game will be underway approximately 30 minutes after the end of the first game.