After breaking a 12-game losing streak on Sunday versus Georgia State, James Madison is set to host Virginia Tech of the Atlantic Coast Conference on Tuesday in the teams' only meeting of the 2012 season. The matchup is slated to start at 6:30 p.m. at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park and will be the Hokies first visit to the Dukes' new facility.
The game will be available for live video viewing on MadiZONE. Fans in attendance can take advantage of $1 hot dogs available at the concession stand.
The Dukes are returning home after a three-game weekend series against Colonial Athletic Association foe Georgia State. JMU lost the first two games on Friday and Saturday by the scores of 9-8 and 4-2 before JMU broke a 12-game skid with a 15-13 win on Sunday. On Sunday, the Dukes went down by five runs early versus the Panthers but were able to stage a comeback by recording 16 hits and a program-record 11 stolen bases. In the final game, senior outfielder Ian Haynes went 4 of 5 at the plate while scoring three runs, hitting two RBIs and stealing three bags. The Dukes are now 6-17-1 on the season and 1-8 in the CAA after picking up their first win since March 4.
In JMU's last four games this past week, five Dukes hit over .300 with at least ten at-bats. Junior second baseman Casey Goss hit .556 with four RBIs and five stolen bases during the span and posted multiple hits in all four games. Senior designated hitter Evan Scott batted .500 with three RBIs and four walks while Haynes had a .438 batting average with three RBIs and five steals through the four games.
SCOUTING VIRGINIA TECH
The Hokies are coming off their ACC home opener versus Duke, a series in which they were swept by the Blue Devils and lost the three-game series by a combined score of 23-6. Tech lost Friday's and Saturday's games by the score of 5-3 and were trounced in the Saturday matchup 13-0. While Virginia Tech is 17-9 on the season, the Hokies are only 2-7 in ACC play. Tech is 15-2 in non-conference games this season.
Over the weekend, sophomore left fielder Tyler Horan lead the Hokies offensively by hitting .375 in only eight at-bats. He had two RBIs for Tech in each of Friday's and Sunday's games and knocked in four of the Hokies' six runs over the three-game series.
Leading Virginia Tech for the season are senior right fielder Jake Atwell and sophomore third baseman Chad Pinder. Atwell is hitting .393 for the season and has 18 RBIs. Pinder has a batting average of .366 and has a team-tying 20 RBIs on the season. He also has a team-leading 14 doubles for the year.
The game features a matchup of brothers in JMU junior catcher Bradley Shaban and Virginia Tech senior first baseman/pitcher Ronnie Shaban. However, Ronnie has missed the last 14 VT games due to injury and is expected to miss Tuesday night's game.
JMU leads the all-time series against Virginia Tech 33-24 after a two-game series in Blacksburg, Va., in 2011. The Dukes split the series last year by winning the first game 7-5 and losing the second 8-4. In the first game of the series last year, junior first baseman Matt Tenaglia went 2-for-5 with four RBIs and a home run. Former JMU catcher Jake Lowery went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a home run in the second game. JMU has won six of the past ten games versus the Hokies.
JMU - Aaron Hoover, Fr., LHP (0-2, 7.46 ERA)
Hoover made two appearances last week with one start, pitching a combined 5 1/3 innings and striking out five batters with six earned runs surrendered. He is third on the team in innings pitched with 25 1/3 and leads the team in batters faced with 111. This will be Hoover's fourth start of the season.
Virginia Tech - Devin Burke, r-So., RHP (0-0, 4.50 ERA)
Burke has pitched two innings in two appearances this season for the Hokies but will be making his first start of the season. It will also be his first start for Tech of his career as he sat out last season after transferring from Duke.