BROOKLINE, Mass. (JMU Athletics) -- James Madison baseball (30-20, 10-10 CAA) defeated Northeastern (23-26, 9-11 CAA) 9-8 in 11 innings on Saturday to even the series and get the Dukes back to .500 in conference play. James Madison has now won 30 games for the first time since 2011. Nick Robertson picked up his fourth win of the season, pitching a career-high 5.2 innings.
The Huskies got on the board first when Cam Walsh grounded into a fielder's choice to second. John Mazza would place a sacrifice bunt to the pitcher to give Northeastern a 2-0 lead heading to the third. The Dukes would respond in the third, scoring three runs in the inning. DaVonn Griffin got the Dukes on the board in the third with a bunt single. The errant throw to first advanced Griffin to third and two runs came home to score. Trevon Dabney would punch a sacrifice fly out to center field to score Griffin and the Dukes took their first lead of the ballgame.
In the top of the fourth JMU added to their lead, as Trevon Dabney drove in a pair of runners on an RBI double down the line in left. Dabney would steal third with ease, before Kyle Novak doubled down the line in left to extend the Dukes lead to 6-2. In the bottom half of the frame, Northeastern began chipping away at the Dukes lead, scoring two runs on a dropped fly ball in right field. Ian Fair was thrown out at the plate trying to extend his play to an inside the park home run.
In the fifth Northeastern leveled the scoring once again, as Jeff Costello flied out to left field to score a run for the Huskies. A wild pitch would allow the Huskies to tie the ballgame heading to the sixth. James Madison responded, when Fox Semones singled through the left side to Trevon Dabney. Moments later, Brady Harju singled through the right side to score Fox Semones.
Northeastern would once again tie the ballgame in the sixth on a bases loaded single to center field. The game would remain tied and the Dukes would force extra innings for the first time on the road this season. After exchanging scoreless innings, Kyle Hayes said enough, singling up the middle and beating out the throw to give the Dukes the lead. Matt Dipasupil's aggressive baserunning allowed him to score from second and the Dukes would hold the lead in the bottom half.
- Trevon Dabney wore his 22ndpitch this season rapidly approaching the school record of 26.
- Kyle Novak had a field day at the plate, going 3-for-6 collecting an RBI and moving runners into scoring position every at bat he had.
- This afternoon's game was the first extra inning road contest the Dukes had been involved in and the third extra inning game overall.
- The 11-inning victory was the longest game this season based on innings.
- James Madison Baseball clinched their first 30-win season since 2011 with their victory against Northeastern on Saturday.
- Nick Robertson improved to 4-1 on the mound this season, pitching a career-high 5.2 innings, scattering five hits, allowing no runs and striking out two.
Bottom 2nd | JMU 0 – NU 2 | Northeastern opened up the scoring in the second when Cam Walsh grounded into a fielder's choice to second. John Mazza would drop a sacrifice bunt to the pitcher to increase the Northeastern lead.
Top 3rd | JMU 3 – NU 2 | DaVonn Griffin got the Dukes on the board in the third, laying down a bunt and singled to first. Griffin advanced to third on a throwing error by the pitcher and two runs came home to score. Trevon Dabney would fly out to deep center field to score Griffin the next at bat.
Top 4th | JMU 6 – NU 2 | Trevon Dabney drives in a pair of runners on an RBI double down the line in left. After Dabney steals third, Kyle Novak doubles to left field to extend the Dukes lead to 6-2.
Bottom 4th | JMU 6 – NU 4 | A dropped fly ball in right field allowed two Huskie runners to score in the fourth. Ian Fair was thrown out on the play trying to stretch it into an inside the park home run.
Bottom 5th | JMU 6 – NU 6 | Jeff Costello flied out to left field to score a run for the Huskies in the fifth. A wild pitch allows a bases loaded runner to score from third.
Top 6th | JMU 8 – NU 6 | Fox Semones singles through the left side to score Trevon Dabney from third and give the Dukes the lead. Brady Harju singles through the right side to score Fox Semones.
Bottom 6th | JMU 8 – NU 8 | A bases loaded single to center by Cam Walsh ties the ballgame at 8-8 in the sixth.
Top 11th | JMU 9 – NU 8 | Kyle Hayes singled up the middle and beat out the throw, as Matt Dipasupil rounded third and was safe at the plate to complete the Dukes victory.
WHAT COACH IKE HAD TO SAY
"Today was a gritty win for the guys. Every time they were tested they responded and we showed great mental toughness competing for all 11 innings. Kyle Hayes was a force both offensively and defensively, as was Nick Robertson. Nick pitched a career-high 5.2 innings and was lights out on the mound. He gave us momentum in extras as we were able to put it away. I am really proud of the guys for winning 30 games this season, but there is still work to do to achieve our goals for the season."
The Dukes will look to take the series tomorrow against Northeastern in the rubber match. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. from Friedman Diamond.