JMU baseball falls to No. 16 NC State in season opener

The James Madison baseball team lost to No. 16 NC State, 4-0, in the Dukes' season opener Friday afternoon. (Photo Courtesy: ACC Network Extra)
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RALEIGH, N.C. – The James Madison baseball team dropped its season opener, 4-0, to No. 16 NC State (1-0) on Friday afternoon at Doak Field.

Junior Nick Stewart (0-1) got the ball to start for JMU (0-1) and went four innings, giving up two runs, both of them earned, on three hits, allowing three walks and striking out eight. Junior Justin Showalter was a bright spot for the Dukes, coming out of the bullpen and throwing two innings, giving up one run on one hit, with one walk and two strikeouts.

Senior Fox Semones led the way offensively for the Dukes, going 1-for-2 in the ballgame with a walk.

After giving up a leadoff double in the second inning, Jonny Butler took a pitch to right center to put the Wolf Pack up, 2-0. The Wolfpack would threaten in the third by putting runners in scoring position, but Stewart got out of the jam with a strikeout. NC State would tack on two more runs, one in the fifth and one in the seventh, before the Dukes put two on in the ninth. NC State however would escape the jam and go on to win the season opener, 4-0.

» Stewart fanned eight Wolf Pack hitters.
» JMU pitchers limited NC State to just 1-for-8 (.125) with runners in scoring position.
» JMU pitchers faced 33 NC State hitters in the game, striking out 11.

“I thought our guys battled and played hard. The difference in the game was they hit two mistakes that cost us three runs and they did a good job of getting Nick Stewart’s pitch count up. I was really proud to see Eli Ottinger go out there and get his first collegiate appearance. NC State’s Swiney was really good and he kept our guys off balance. We could just never extend innings off him. It was a good college baseball game.” – Head Coach Marlin Ikenberry

The Dukes are back in action tomorrow, Saturday, February 15, as they play NC State in game two of this three game season opening series. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.