Dukes Take Series in Walk Off Thriller

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (JMU Athletics) -- James Madison baseball (25-18, 6-8 CAA) took the series from the Hofstra Pride (12-26, 5-9 CAA) with a 4-3 walk off victory in the ninth. Michael Morgan was hit by a 2-2 pitch with the bases loaded to give the Dukes the victory and move JMU to fifth place in the CAA standings. Matt Marsili picked up the victory this evening recording a key out with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth. He improves to 2-0 on the season.

Hofstra opened up the scoring the fifth when an error allowed Ryan Morash to reach base. Parker Quinn was able to come around and score on the play to take a 1-0 lead. JMU responded in the bottom half, as Trevon Dabney singled to left field to score Kyle Hayes. In the sixth a bases loaded walk allowed the Pride to regain the lead, before Michael Morgan doubled to the gap in left center to score Kyle Novak.

With the game tied Brett Ayer took over on the mound and recorded eight strikeouts, including a crucial one with the bases loaded in the sixth. Matt Dipasupil punched a ball out to left field in the bottom of the eighth to give the Dukes the lead late, before Hofstra answered in the top of the ninth.

Matt Marsili took over on the mound with two on and two outs in the ninth. Marsili walked the first batter to load the bases, before striking out the next batter to get out of the jam. In the ninth DaVonn Griffin got the one-out rally started singling to second base. Fox Semones picked up a two-out double down the line in left and the Pride intentionally walked Kyle Novak to load the bases. Michael Morgan was hit by a pitch to send the Dukes home with the win.

JMU will look to complete the sweep Sunday against the Pride. Coach Ikenberry now sits at 99 career wins at James Madison and will look to hit the century mark tomorrow afternoon.

GAME FACTS
- The Dukes walked off Saturday night on a hit by pitch, when Michael Morgan wore a 2-2 pitch in the back.
- Matt Marsili picked up the win recording the final out in the ninth with the bases loaded. He improves to 2-0 on the season.
- Brett Ayer was on fire out of the bullpen striking out eight batters in his 3.1 innings pitched.
- Head Coach Marlin Ikenberry now sits just one win away from his 100thvictory at JMU.
- Michael Morgan led the team tonight with two RBIs off the bench.

SCORING SUMMARY
Top 5th | JMU 0 – HOFSTRA 1 | Hofstra opened up the scoring when an error allowed Ryan Morash to reach and a runner scored.
Bottom 5th| JMU 0 – HOFSTRA 1 | JMU responded in the bottom half when Trevon Dabney singled to left field to score Kyle Hayes.
Top 6th | JMU 1 – HOFSTRA 2 | The Pride answered in the sixth regaining the lead on a bases loaded walk.
Bottom 6th | JMU 2 – HOFSTRA 2 | The Dukes responded with a run of their own, as Michael Morgan doubled to left center to score Kyle Novak.
Bottom 8th | JMU 3 – HOFSTRA 3 | Matt Dipasupil gave the Dukes the lead late in the game when he punched a sacrifice fly out to left field to score Fox Semones.
Top 9th | JMU 3 – HOFSTRA 3 | The Pride would tie the game in the ninth with a double to left center by Ryan Morash.
Bottom 9th | JMU 4 – HOFSTRA 3 | The Dukes would walk off in the ninth, as Michael Morgan was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

WHAT COACH IKE HAD TO SAY
"Tonight was a gritty win for us and I like how the guys never quit. The game was back and forth and both starters played exceptionally well. Brett came out of the pen and was able to get us key outs when we needed it. Michael came off the bench and gave us a spark and was able to draw out his at bat long enough in the ninth to be hit."

UP NEXT
The Dukes will look to complete the sweep tomorrow afternoon against Hofstra. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. from Veterans Memorial Park.