Shutting down the visiting Longwood bats for 7.2 innings, the James Madison baseball team started the home part of its 2014 season with a 14-7 victory at Veterans Memorial Park, Feb. 19. With the win, the Dukes evened their record at 2-2, while the Lancers dropped to 1-3.
After Longwood got four in the top of the first with JMU able to get just one out, the Dukes’ pitching staff came on in relief and gave up just three hits and posted 11 strikeouts until the ninth to take control of the game. Redshirt-junior Michael Howerton (Chesterfield, Va./Matoaca) picked up the win after going 3.2 innings, giving up just one hit and one walk while striking out five and facing just one above the minimum batter.
Offensively, junior Kevin Husum (Panama City, Fla./Bay (Gulf Coast State)) and redshirt-sophomore Kyle Weston (Penn Laird, Va./Spotswood (UNC Asheville)) each had three hits, with Weston recording three RBIs and Husum two. Senior Ty McFarland (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby), junior Chad Carroll (Oakton, Va./Oakton) and redshirt-senior Matt Tenaglia (Doylestown, Pal/Central Bucks East) chipped in two RBIs each, as Madison pounded out 13 hits in the contest.
Trailing 4-0, JMU answered with three in the bottom of the first frame, as Tenaglia’s two-run blast over the right field fence trimmed the margin to 4-2. Weston then got his first RBI in the contest on a single to left center to score senior Tyler Gregory (Dothan, Ala./Houston Academy (Wallace CC)).
Dukes knotted it up with one in the second and then took the lead with one in the third and a pair in the fourth. Husum had the big hit in the fourth with a two-RBI double to right center that scored Carroll and McFarland and put JMU up 7-4.
Carroll got a five-run sixth started for JMU with a solo shot to right center and Weston later added two RBIs on a single through the left side. Senior Nick Merullo (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand) followed with an RBI single to centerfield and McFarland’s ground-out RBI put Madison up 12-4.
JMU got two more in the bottom of the eight as freshman Logan Corrigan’s (Pittsburgh, Pa./Bethel Park) sacrifice fly scored Weston and McFarland’s double to right center plated freshman Josh Wyatt (Eden, Md./James M. Bennett) and made it 14-4. Longwood was able to scratch out three runs in the top of the ninth before the final out.
For the Lancers, Kyri Washington was the only player with multiple hits, going 3-for-5 with one RBI and one run scored, while Brandon Delk had a home run and three RBIs on the day. Blake Ream took the loss for Longwood, going 2.0 innings and giving up three hits, three earned runs and two walks while striking out four.
Madison returns to action at home this weekend, hosting Binghamton for a four-game series at Veterans Memorial Park. Friday’s game is at 4 p.m., with the doubleheader on Saturday beginning at noon. Sunday’s finale is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.