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JMU drops series opener to UNCW in extra innings

JMU baseball drops series opener to UNCW in extra innings
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 10:47 PM EDT|Updated: May. 19, 2022 at 11:51 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The James Madison baseball team suffered a loss in its return home Thursday night.

The Dukes dropped a heart-breaker to UNCW, 7-4, in extra innings at Eagle Field. It was James Madison’s first home game since April 24. JMU falls to 26-25 overall (11-10 CAA) and the Dukes have now lost five straight games.

Travis Reifsnider collected three RBI for the Dukes. He doubled and launched his 13th home run of the season. JMU freshman Ryan Dooley blasted a leadoff homer in the bottom of the first inning. However, JMU struggled to pick up a big hit with runners on base. The Dukes stranded 12 runners compared to just one for the Seahawks. UNCW was led by Noah Bridges, who hit two home runs in the win. UNCW scored three runs in the top of the tenth inning to claim the victory in a back-and-forth contest.

James Madison left-hander Liam McDonnell worked a career-high seven innings on the mound. He allowed four earned runs on five hits while picking up two strikeouts.

For a team that’s already dealing injury issues, the Dukes saw another player go down Thursday evening. Starting shortstop Mason Dunaway (.277 avg, 26 RBI) appeared to suffer a serious injury while running the bases. He removed from the game and had to be assisted off the field. JMU is already playing without starting center fielder Chase DeLauter (projected first round MLB Draft pick) and starting catcher Jason Schiavone (25 starts, .996 fielding pct.), who are both sidelined for the remainder of the season. Starting third baseman and leadoff hitter Tre Dabney (.452 OBP, 7 home runs) missed a fifth straight game Thursday night but it’s possible he could return Friday or Saturday.

Game two between the Dukes and Seahawks is set for 6 p.m. Friday night.

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