FAIRFAX, Va., Mar. 24, 2013 – Redshirt sophomore Michael Howerton (Chesterfield, Va./Matoaca) allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings and sophomore Chris Huffman (Fort Defiance, Va./Fort Defiance) closed the door for the second straight day as James Madison downed George Mason 5-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association series finale on Sunday afternoon at Spuhler Field.
JMU improved to 13-9 overall and 6-2 in the CAA. The Dukes sit in third place in the CAA amid a tight top three spots in the order. After dropping the series opener, Madison rebounded for wins Saturday and Sunday to take the series over GMU, which fell to 11-12 overall and 4-5 in the league.
Howerton improved to 3-0 after limiting the Patriots to one run on three hits with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. Sophomore left-hander Aaron Hoover (Centreville, Va./Westfield) was not scored on for 1 2/3 innings before Huffman retired all five batters faced to pick up his fourth save.
Offensively, four Dukes had multiple hits with an RBI, a group that included sophomore left fielder Chad Carroll (Oakton, Va./Oakton), junior designated hitter Conner Brown (Richmond, Va./Godwin), junior third baseman Ty McFarland (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) and senior right fielder Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield). Carroll hit his fifth triple of the season in just 18 games played.
Starter Jake Kalish took the loss for Mason after allowing one unearned run in 1 1/3 innings. Designated hitter Anthony Montefusco and second baseman Andrew Sable each had two of Mason’s six hits.
JMU grabbed the lead on McInturff’s RBI single in the second and then methodically added to the lead. The Dukes tacked on a Brown RBI single in the third, a McFarland RBI single in the fifth and RBI hits in the sixth by senior center fielder Johnny Bladel (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) and Carroll.
Mason’s only damage on the board came in the bottom of the sixth as Montefusco singled in a run with another one crossing the plate on a wild pitch.
JMU returns home for a 4 p.m. game on Wednesday hosting Liberty before then traveling to Brookline, Mass. for an Easter weekend set at Northeastern.