HARRISONBURG, Va., Feb. 22, 2012 – James Madison hitters piled up 14 hits and sophomore right-hander Trent Cundiff (Roanoke, Va./Northside) tossed two innings of shutout relief to lead the JMU baseball team to a 13-7 win over Longwood at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park on Wednesday.
The Dukes won their home opener for the fourth consecutive year to improve to 1-2-1 on the season. Longwood dropped to 2-2 overall.
Cundiff earned the win for JMU to improve to 1-0 on the year. He allowed two hits and a walk while striking out one in two innings pitched. Freshman right-hander Ben Garner (Burke, Va./Paul VI) made his collegiate debut, pitching 2 1/3 innings in the start. He allowed three runs on five hits and two walks. Senior right-hander Josh Futter (Columbia, Va./Wilde Lake), junior right-hander Nick Slogik (Strongsville, Ohio/St. Edward) and freshman righty Cody Miller (Westlake, Ohio/Padua Franciscan) combined to allow four hits and strike out five in 4 2/3 innings of relief.
Bobby Shelton drew the start for the Lancers and allowed six runs on six hits and a walk. He took the loss to drop to 0-1. Tyler Wislocki and Brandon Vick followed Shelton and allowed seven runs, four earned, on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings pitched.
Offensively, senior designated hitter Evan Scott (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) went 2-for-3 with three RBIs while junior center fielder Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield) added three hits, including a double, and a RBI. Junior catcher Bradley Shaban (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) went 1-for-3 with two runs, two RBIs, a walk and stole a base. Freshman shortstop Chad Carroll (Oakton, Va./Oakton) recorded his first career hit and finished the game with two hits, a walk, two runs, a RBI and a stolen base.
Longwood received a 3-for-5 day from catcher Scott Burkett. First baseman Robby Newman went 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs while second baseman Travis Biddix contributed two hits, a walk, two runs and a RBI.
JMU jumped out to a quick lead, scoring five runs on four hits in the bottom of the first. Back-to-back singles by Goss and Carroll followed by consecutive hit batters opened the game’s scoring. A sacrifice fly by sophomore third baseman Conner Brown (Richmond, Va./Godwin) made it 2-0 before Scott plated two more runners with a chopper over the third baseman’s head. Senior right fielder Ian Haynes (Danville, Va./Tunstall) drove in the final run of the frame, dropping down a bunt single that snuck past LU third baseman Alex Owens, allowing junior left fielder Colby Roberts (Benton, Ark./Benton) to score from second.
The Dukes added a two-out run in the top of the second inning to extend the lead to 6-0. Sophomore first baseman Ty McFarland (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) started the rally with a triple into the right-center gap and scored as Shaban laced a single over the second baseman’s head.
Longwood got back into the game in the top of the third inning, getting RBI singles from designated hitter Justin Lacy and Newman as well as a bases loaded walk. Right fielder Brandon Delk was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame and moved to second on a single by Biddix. Lacy found the hole on the right side to score Delk before Newman roped a single through the left side to plate Biddix. After another single loaded up the bases, Garner walked Owens forcing the Dukes to turn to Futter in relief. Futter induced a double play against the first batter he saw to escape the jam.
A pair of Madison errors led to two more runs for the Lancers in the top of the fourth. Back-to-back miscues by Brown and Futter and a sacrifice bunt put a pair of runners in scoring position. Futter uncorked a wild pitch chasing home left fielder Joey Varaksa. Biddix made it 6-5 with a single through the right side to cap the inning.
The Dukes got an unearned run back in the bottom of the fifth as junior second baseman Casey Goss (Springfield, Mo./Glendale) led off by reaching on a throwing error. The junior stole second and third and scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Carroll.
A little more small ball extended the JMU lead by a run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Brown started the rally with a lead-off walk and moved to second on a single up the middle by Roberts. Both runners advanced a base on a sacrifice bunt before Brown scored on a bunt single by McInturff.
Madison added five runs on four hits and an error to blow the game open in the sixth. Roberts, Scott, Haynes and Goss all picked up RBIs in the inning for the Dukes.
Newman added a pair of unearned runs for Longwood in the top of the eighth with a bases loaded double. JMU avoided further damage as Roberts and Carroll executed a perfect relay to throw out Lacy at the plate.
The Dukes are back in action this weekend at Veterans Memorial Park as they host Bucknell for a four-game series. Friday’s series opener starts at 4 p.m.
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