James Madison Baseball will host its first home series this weekend against the Binghamton Bearcats, though Mother Nature has already altered the original schedule. Friday's scheduled 4 p.m. game has been postponed, which means the four-game set will now consist of a Saturday doubleheader at noon and a Sunday doubleheader at 11 a.m. Both doubleheaders will feature a seven-inning contest followed by a nine-inning affair.
JMU, already with three games under its belt, faces a Binghamton team seeing its first action of the season. After an 11-9 loss Wednesday night against Longwood, the first home-opening loss in five years, the Dukes (0-3) look to pick up their first win. The Dukes compiled 11 hits, including eight combined from the second through fourth hitters in the order.
Ty McFarland was 3-for-3 with two walks, three runs and two RBIs in the loss. Conner Brown also had three hits with two RBIs. Matt Tenaglia went 2-for-4 with a walk in his first home action since the 2011 season.
Binghamton has high hopes for a successful season despite their significant losses due to graduation, including two MLB draft picks. The team lost its top starter, accomplished closer and starting first baseman, but still carries lofty expectations thanks to the return of its other eight position starters as well as three starting pitchers.
Game 1 - Saturday, noon (Doubleheader game one)
JMU - Patrick Toohers, So., RHP (0-1, 6.00 ERA)
Toohers took his first start of the season against Coastal Carolina on Feb. 15 pitching six innings with three strikeouts in a game JMU lost 4-3.
Binghamton - Lambert, r-So., RHP (6-4, 3.79 ERA last year)
Lambert takes the mound for the first time this season after leading the team with six wins last season. He ranked second in the America East Conference in fewest walks per game (1.38). The 6-foot-9 right-hander looks to challenge his impressive 2.51 ERA last season, which was ranked second in the conference as well.
Game 2 - Saturday (Doubleheader game two)
JMU - Luke Drayer, r-So., LHP (first appearance)
Drayer was one of the top arms for the Luray Wranglers in the Valley League last summer but will be making his first appearance at JMU.
Binghamton - Jay Lynch, Sr., RHP (2-5, 5.05 ERA last year)
The senior captain has accumulated 12 career wins. In his last outing of 2012, he pitched seven innings in the America East tournament against Maine, only giving up two runs.
Game 3 - Sunday, 11 a.m. (Doubleheader game one)
JMU - Michael Church, Fr., RHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Church makes his first collegiate start after tossing two scoreless innings of relief in last Friday's 4-3 loss at Coastal Carolina.
Binghamton - Mike Meleski, Jr., LHP (first appearance)
Meleski is a junior college transfer from Broome Community College, where he set a single-season record with 97 strikeouts.
Game 4 - Sunday (Doubleheader game two)
JMU - Michael Howerton, r-So., RHP (0-0, 32.40 ERA)
Howerton allowed six runs in 1 2/3 innings in his first appearance of the season in Sunday's 8-7 loss at Coastal Carolina.
Binghamton - Jack Rogalla (3-1, 4.88 ERA last year)
Rogalla pitched a total of 20 strikeouts in conference games last season along with retiring all 11 batters in relief against No. 4 Arkansas last March. He split time with six starts and seven relief appearances as part of 48 innings pitched.