JMU baseball looking to finish strong in final CAA season
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The James Madison baseball team is hoping to leave the CAA as one of the top squads in the conference.
The Dukes are currently alone in second place in the CAA standings with an 11-6 record in conference games (26-20 overall). JMU is playing its final season in the Colonial Athletic Association as the school’s athletic program prepares for a move to the Sun Belt Conference on July 1.
While the Dukes have performed as one of the top squads in the league this spring, JMU is ineligible for the upcoming CAA Baseball Tournament due to the impending move to the Sun Belt.
“I think it’s driven us to be able to come out (on) top of the league and show that we really are one of the best teams here, whether we are allowed in the conference tournament or not,” said JMU graduate right-handed pitcher Justin Showalter. “I think it’s kind of put a chip on our shoulder and allowed us to work a little extra harder and win each series.”
JMU has earned series sweeps over William & Mary and Towson to go along with series victories over Delaware, Elon, and Northeastern. Charleston, which has already clinched the CAA regular-season championship, swept the Dukes in a three-game series.
“It’s something we have talked about repeatedly is the CAA, I would say, did us dirty a little bit,” said JMU redshirt junior Travis Reifsnider. “So we want to make sure we take of business every weekend we have in conference.”
The Dukes have two conference series’ left on the schedule: at Hofstra (May 13-15) and vs. UNCW (May 19-21).
“We just go out every weekend and try to win each weekend and that’s our goal,” said JMU head coach Marlin Ikenberry. “They’ve done a really good job of staying focused in conference play.”
DeLauter not expected to return for JMU in 2022
JMU head coach Marlin Ikenberry told WHSV that star outfielder Chase DeLauter is not expected to return for the Dukes this season. DeLauter suffered a broken foot in early April. DeLauter, one of the best hitters in college baseball, was batting .437 with eight home runs and 35 RBI at the time of the injury.
He is ranked as the No. 12 prospect for the upcoming MLB Draft by MLB.com.
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