Dukes defeat Hofstra in series opener, 8-6

By  | 

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- James Madison baseball improved to (24-18, 5-8 CAA) with an 8-6 victory over the Hofstra Pride (12-25, 5-8 CAA) Friday night. Kevin Kelly improved to 6-5 on the year with the win and allowed three runs, on four hits and struck out seven in his 6.0 innings pitched. Kelly, Shelton Perkins and Nick Robertson all combined for 15 strikeouts on the night, to bring the season total to 401 for the Dukes this season.

JMU opened up the scoring in the bottom of the first when Fox Semones hit a two-run blast off the scoreboard in right field. The Dukes would increase the lead in the second as Trevon Dabney doubled down in the line in left to score David Willis. The Pride would answer in the fourth with a two-run shot of their own to center field and an RBI triple to the gap in right.

The Dukes would regain the lead in the fourth as Callaway Sigler singled up the middle to score David Willis for the second time on the night. Trevon Dabney would double up the middle to score DaVonn Griffin and increase the lead to 5-3. JMU would keep increasing the lead, scoring in the fifth and sixth innings as well. In the fifth Matt Dipasupil hit his first home run of the season, a monster shot to right field to give the Dukes a 7-3 cushion. Semones would collect his third RBI of the night in the sixth, before Hofstra would cut the lead to 8-6 in the seventh.

Nick Robertson came on in the ninth looking to pick up his seventh save of the season. The big right-hander recorded four strikeouts in the inning and walked one batter. JMU will be back in action tomorrow night for game two of the three game set.

- Fox Semones and Matt Dipasupil both hit home runs Friday against the Pride. Semones collected three RBIs on the night, while Dipasupil collected two RBIs.

- Nick Robertson collected his seventh save of the season on Friday and is quickly approaching the school record of 10 in a season.

- Kevin Kelly improved to 6-5 on the season with the victory Friday night. Kelly added seven strikeouts to his season total tonight and allowed only four hits.

- The Dukes improved to 24-18 on the season and 5-8 in CAA play with the win on Friday night. JMU moves into sixth place in the conference standings.

Bottom 1st | JMU 2 – HOFSTRA 0 | Fox Semones kicked off the scoring in the first, sending a long fly ball off the scoreboard in right to give the Dukes at 2-0 lead.

Bottom 2nd | JMU 3 – HOFSTRA 0 | JMU would tack on another run in the second when Dabney doubled down the line in left.

Top 4th | JMU 3 – HOFSTRA 3 | Austin Gauthier crushed a two-run homer to straight away center field and Anthony D’Onofrio tripled to right center to tie the game in the fourth.

Bottom 4th | JMU 5 – HOFSTRA 3 | Callaway Sigler singled up the middle to score David Willis in the fourth, before Trevon Dabney doubled up the middle to score DaVonn Griffin.

Bottom 5th | JMU 7 – HOFSTRA 3 | The Dukes continued to increase the lead in the fifth when Matt Dipasupil hit a two-run blast to right field.

Bottom 6th | JMU 8 – HOFSTRA 3 | Fox Semones added to his three RBI day with a single to center field in the sixth. David Willis would come around to score for the Dukes.

Top 7th | JMU 8 – HOFSTRA 6 | Hofstra’s, Vito Friscia, hit a three-run home run to right field to cut the lead to 8-6.

“I was really pleased with how our guys continued to increase the lead each inning. Every time Hofstra would answer, we would come back out in the bottom and put runs on the board. Kevin looked good again tonight and is starting to find his groove. Dipasupil and Fox both put great swings on the ball on their home runs and helped us continue to increase the lead. Robertson was calm in the ninth and was able to get out of the small jam to end the ballgame.”

Game two of the three game set is scheduled for 6 p.m. from Veterans Memorial Park on Saturday.