James Madison baseball will play its final non-conference game of the season Tuesday night with a visit to the Longwood Lancers in a rematch from the team's first midweek game earlier in the year. The single game matchup begins Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at Charles Buddy Bolding Stadium in Farmville, Virginia
JMU claimed the season's first meeting by a score of 13-7 back in February. Tuesday's game features a matchup between JMU's Nick Slogik and Longwood's Brandon Vick.
JMU enters the game coming off a weekend series with Colonial Athletic Conference foe VCU. The Rams won two of the three games from the Dukes and clinch a postseason berth in the CAA tournament. Meanwhile JMU sits firmly on the bubble as one of five teams fighting for the sixth and final spot in the tournament that will be hosted at JMU's Veteran's Memorial Park May 23-26. James Madison took game one of the series by a final score of 13-11 before losing the final two games by scores of 9-3 and 10-8.
JMU's highlight of the weekend at the plate came off the bat of Casey Goss, who hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning Friday night to give JMU its lone victory of the weekend, 13-11. JMU was also led by four players who batted over .300 for the weekend. Cole McInturff led the way posting a .500 batting average, which raised his season average to 12th in the CAA at .349. Also batting over .300 for the weekend were Ian Haynes (.455), Ty McFarland (.333) and Evan Scott (.333).
In the three-game series, the pitching struggled to find the hot hand, allowing 30 runs, 26 of which were earned. Of those earned runs, 16 were credited to the starters, who pitched a total of 14 2/3 innings in three starts.
JMU's record now sits at 16-31-2 and 10-17 in the CAA with one final conference series remaining against Towson this weekend. The Dukes went 10-18 at home at Veterans Memorial Park after going 36-11 in the first two seasons in the facility.
Longwood enters the game with a record of 23-19, including a 15-14 record at home during the year. The Lancers have gone 7-3 during their last 10 games, including posting a 2-1 record versus CAA opponents during that stretch. Longwood won games against George Mason (9-7) and Old Dominion (8-6), but the Lancers were shut out by VCU by a score of 9-0. Longwood is scheduled to play William and Mary Monday night barring a weather conflict. The game versus JMU will be Longwood's final home game of the season.
The Lancers enter the game with a strong balance between their offense and their pitching. They currently have a .296 batting average as a team, 50th best in the country, and the pitching staff has combined for a 4.56 ERA for the season.
The batting is led by four players who currently have batting averages over .300. At the top is junior Justin Lacy, who ranks 18th in the country with a .390 batting average to go with five home runs and 30 RBIs. Scott Burkett, Robby Newman and Brandon Delk are also batting over .300 with averages of .371, .344 and .307, respectively. Newman leads the team with 10 home runs and 43 runs batted in.
As for the pitching, the 4.56 ERA that has been posted has been the result of quality pitching from Longwood's three primary starters and some strong bullpen help. The core starting group of Kyler Morgan, Matt Gwaltney and Brandon Vick have combined to pitch 189 innings and posted a combined ERA of 4.19 ERA. Two of Longwood's relievers have also posted very strong season ERA's. Ryan Schubert has posted a 2.92 ERA over 24 2/3 innings while Tyler Wislocki has posted a 3.33 ERA over 27 innings.
JMU leads the all-time series 13-7, including a victory earlier this season. James Madison won the first seven games in the series' history but has won only six of the last 13 meetings. In JMU's first meeting this season with Longwood, the pitching and hitting were both strong for the Dukes. JMU posted a .424 batting average for the game with 13 runs scored on 14 hits. Meanwhile the pitching staff allowed just two earned runs in the game.
Tuesday, 6 p.m.
JMU- Nick Slogik, Jr., RHP (0-5, 10.58 ERA)
Longwood- Brandon Vick, Fr., LHP (5-2, 4.60 ERA)