After breaking a 10-game home losing streak this past weekend by sweeping Northeastern in a three-game series, the Dukes hit the road for eight of the next nine games, beginning with the Liberty Flames of the Big South Conference on Tuesday. The game is slated to start at 6 p.m. and will be played at Worthington Stadium in Lynchburg, Va.
Over the weekend, the Dukes hosted Northeastern for a three-game series and swept their first Colonial Athletic Association opponent since sweeping NU last May on the road. JMU won all three games by the scores of 14-6, 3-2 and 16-7 while accumulating 46 hits and twelve stolen bases. JMU is now 9-22-1 on the season and 4-11 in the CAA.
Multiple Dukes had the hot bat over the weekend, including junior center fielder Cole McInturff, senior designated hitter Evan Scott, junior catcher Bradley Shaban and sophomore third baseman Connor Brown. McInturff batted .714 over the series with five runs scored and three stolen bases. Scott and Shaban both hit.500 for the weekend and had five RBIs each. Scott also scored five runs and had two stolen bases and a home run. Brown posted a .467 batting average and hit a team-high eight RBIs for the three-game series, including two doubles and a home run. As a team, JMU batted a stellar .418 during the series which raises its season team average to .293.
Junior outfielder Johnny Bladel and junior second baseman Casey Goss extended their active hitting streaks to 14 games.
The JMU staff posted a 4.67 ERA in the three-game series and limited NU to batting only .252. Freshman Patrick Toohers, senior Evan Scott and sophomore Trent Cundiff all received the wins for the weekend with senior Josh Futter and freshman Chris Huffman each earning a save. Cundiff retired all nine batters he faced while Huffman tossed two perfect innings.
Liberty was in action this weekend as well versus Campbell, a conference foe, in Lynchburg. The Flames won the series 2-1 while losing the second doubleheader game on Saturday by the score of 7-6 in a 10-inning game. Liberty had victories in the first two games by winning 5-4 on Friday and then 8-6 in the first doubleheader game on Saturday. Liberty improved to 27-8 and 7-2 in conference play while retaining the lead in the Big South Conference.
The Flames are led this season by junior second baseman Bryan Aanderud, junior center fielder Andy Smith and senior outfielder Ian Parmley. Aanderud is batting .421 with 7 doubles and a team-leading 35 RBIs. Smith and Parmley are hitting .339 and.329, respectively. Smith has a team-high six home runs while Parmley has a team-high 19 stolen bases. Liberty holds a .304 batting average as a team and has limited its opponents to a .243 average.
JMU leads the all-time series over Liberty 36-29 but suffered a 9-0 loss earlier this season in Lynchburg. The Dukes have won nine of the last 11 meetings versus the Flames. On March 14, 2012, the Dukes were shutout 9-0 by the Flames and were held to only one hit which was struck by sophomore third baseman Connor Brown. Four Liberty pitchers combined to one-hit the Dukes and only allowed four JMU batters to reach base. Center fielder Andy Smith went 2-5 with three runs, a RBI and a double on the afternoon for the Flames. Designated hitter and catcher Tyler Cox went 1-3 with three RBIs on a double to help propel Liberty.
JMU - Nick Slogik, Jr., RHP (0-4, 10.61 ERA)
Slogik will be making his third start of the season for the Dukes after coming off a three inning start against UVA last week. He surrendered five runs on four hits in the 15-5 loss on the road. Slogik made the start for the Dukes in the last meeting between these two teams.
Liberty- Brooks Roy, Jr., RHP (3-0, 1.35 ERA)
Roy has made seven appearances this year with one start while pitching 13 1/3 innings. He has limited his opponents to a .244 batting average this season while also only allowing two runs. In his last appearance, he made the start against VCU and pitched 4 1/3 innings. Roy allowed two runs on seven hits as the Flames fell 5-4 to the Rams of the CAA.