JMU baseball earns crucial series-opening win over UNCW

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WILMINGTON, N.C. – James Madison baseball (31-22, 11-11 CAA) defeated UNCW (26-28, 10-12 CAA) 2-0 on Thursday to open up the final CAA series of the year. Kevin Kelly pitched a gem to improve to 7-6 on the season, allowing no runs, on two hits and striking out seven. The Dukes posted their sixth shutout of the season, as Shelton Perkins and Nick Robertson did not allow a hit in the final three innings.

JMU opened up the scoring in the top of the first, when Brady Harju singled to left field to score Trevon Dabney. Dabney lead off the game with a single and came around to score. Dabney finished the game with a 2-for-3 line, drawing a walk and scoring two runs. The Dukes would score again in the top of the third on a Kyle Novak ground out to collect Dabney’s second run scored of the night.

Shelton Perkins took over on the mound in the seventh not allowing a hit and striking out four batters. Nick Robertson came on in the ninth to close the door for the Dukes. The junior struck out two batters and didn’t allow a hit to pick up his eighth save of the season. James Madison added another 13 strikeouts on the night to bring the season total to 523.

- Kevin Kelly improved to 7-6 on the season, pitching 6.0 innings, allowing no runs, on two hits and struck out seven.

- Shelton Perkins was dealing out of the pen not allowing a hit and striking out four in his return to his home state.

- Nick Robertson collected his eighth save of the season, striking out two batters in the ninth.

- The Dukes pitching staff collected their sixth shutout of the season, blanking UNCW 2-0 in Wilmington.

Top 1st | JMU 1 – UNCW 0 | Brady Harju opened up the scoring for the Dukes in the first, singling to left to score Trevon Dabney.

Top 3rd | JMU 2 – UNCW 0 | Kyle Novak grounded out to second base to score Trevon Dabney for the second time tonight.

“I thought Kevin Kelly pitched incredible tonight. He had great command and every time they got a guy on base he was able to shut the door. Perkins came on and had a lot of energy with his family and friends in the stands. He was able to throw zeros and Robertson was able to close the door. I was glad to see Tre get back to his form and was able to see the ball really well. I think he is starting to understand how the pitchers in the league are pitching him and is capitalizing on it. Tonight was a good win, but we still have work to be done the rest of the weekend.”

The Dukes and Seahawks will square off for game two of the series Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. from Brooks Field.