HARRISONBURG, Va. (JMU Athletics) -- James Madison baseball picked up their first conference victory of the season with an 11-2 win over the Delaware Blue Hens. The Dukes improved to 16-8 on the season and 1-1 in conference play. Nick Stewart improved to 3-2 on the year going 7.0 innings, allowing two runs, on two hits and striking out a season-high eight batters. After allowing two runs to score in the top of the first inning, Stewart allowed one hit in the third inning, before he and Grayson Jones no-hit the Blue Hens to finish the ballgame.
Offensively the Dukes found their rhythm at the plate, scoring 11 runs for the second time this season. The double-digit run total was the seventh time that the Dukes had posted 10+ runs, improving the record to 7-0 on the season when doing so. Trevon Dabney hit his second leadoff home run in as many days and Brady Harju followed two batters later with a big fly of his own. The Dukes would tie the ballgame in the bottom of the first, before gradually extending the lead until the seventh inning. JMU scored six in the seventh inning to break open the scoring, thanks to Matt Dipasupil's RBI triple to center field. Dipasupil had himself a career day going 4-for-4 with one run scored and three RBIs.
- Nick Stewart earned his third win of the season improving to 3-2. Stewart struck out a season-high eight batters in his 7.0 innings pitched and only allowed two hits.
- Trevon Dabney hit his second leadoff home run in as many days to spark a two-run bottom half of the first inning. Brady Harju would add his own big fly moments later to tie the ballgame.
- Matt Dipasupil had a career day, recording four hits, scoring once and collected three RBIs. Dipasupil added a RBI triple to centerfield in the seventh which ignited the Dukes dugout.
- Grayson Jones had himself a career day on the mound, relieving Nick Stewart in the eighth. Jones pitched 2.0 innings and struck out a career-high four batters.
- Rich Rodriguez collected his first RBI and scored his first run in a Dukes uniform this afternoon. Rodriguez relieved Michael Morgan at first when Morgan moved to catcher in the fourth inning.
Top 1st | JMU 0 – DELAWARE 2 | Delaware came out swinging in the first, scoring on a sacrifice fly and a groundout to short.
Bottom 1st | JMU 2 – DELAWARE 2 | The Dukes answered in the form of the big fly. Trevon Dabney hit his second leadoff home run of the weekend and Brady Harju followed shortly after with one off the scoreboard.
Bottom 3rd | JMU 3 – DELAWARE 2 | Matt Dipasupil singled to short and heads-up baserunning by Fox Semones drove in the eventual game winning run.
Bottom 5th | JMU 4 – DELAWARE 2 | Dipasupil picked up where he left off in the third with a single through the right side to score Nick Zona.
Bottom 6th | JMU 5 – DELAWARE 2 | DaVonn Griffin doubled down the line in left to score Morgan from second.
Bottom 7th | JMU 11 – DELAWARE 2 | Dipasupil drove in the first run of the seventh inning with a RBI triple to centerfield. He would later score on a wild pitch. Rich Rodriguez reached on a fielder's choice allowing Brady to score from third. Griffin was hit by a pitch, forcing David Willis to score. Nick Zona reached on a fielder's choice to allow Morgan to score. Dabney would single through the left side and Rodriguez would score.
WHAT COACH IKE HAD TO SAY
"I loved the way our guys responded today. They came out with laser focus and were able to not let their early runs deter them from the goal. Nick did an excellent job throwing zeros after the first inning and could not be touched after the third inning. I was really happy to see Grayson come out of the pen and do the same as Nick. They were both feeling it today. I enjoyed watching our bats today and was extremely excited for Matt. He works so hard and when we had to make the switch early he knew what he had to do. He saw the ball exceptionally well and I loved watching the guys get fired up every time he produced for our offense."
JMU baseball will host Delaware on Sunday in game three of the series. The rubber match is scheduled for 3 p.m. inside Veterans Memorial Park.