MYRTLE BEACH, S.C., Feb. 18, 2012 - James Madison and Virginia each scored two runs in the eighth inning to preserve a tie score before torrential rains took over and halted the contest for a 4-4 tie in the final game of the Caravelle Resort Tournament on Saturday evening at BB&T Coastal Field.
JMU finished the tournament with a record of 0-2-1 with the stalemate while Virginia went 1-1-1. The Cavaliers had won 10 of the previous 11 meetings between the teams headed into the season with two more matchups slated in March and April.
It was a 2-2 tie headed into the eighth when Virginia broke through with leadoff runners reaching on a four-pitch walk and a hit batter. Junior Johnny Bladel (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) entered in relief to get a pair of outs before Harrington came up with the big hit, a two-run single up the middle. The Cavs had a chance for more but Harrington was thrown out at the plate by McInturff.
Though it had two runs, JMU did not get its first hit in the game until one out in the eighth. After freshman shortstop Chad Carroll (Oakton, Va./Oakton) reached on an error, junior outfielder Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield) singled to right and reached second on a throwing error by the shortstop with Carroll coming around to score to make it 4-3. Bladel made it back-to-back hits with his single up the middle scoring McInturff from second to tie it at 4-4. Sophomore first baseman Ty McFarland (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) doubled to center for the third straight JMU hit but Bladel was thrown out on a bang-bang play at the plate trying to score from first.
With a constant drizzle for much of the game opening up to pouring in the final inning, the game was called after the two runs for each team in the eighth, resulting in the 4-4 tie. It was JMU's first tie since an 8-8 result against Marist on March 2, 2001.
In his JMU debut, freshman Patrick Toohers (Florham Park, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) started and limited Virginia to one run on two hits in five innings of work. Freshman Patrick Arnold (Roanoke, Va./Northside) worked a scoreless sixth while Bladel worked the final inning for the Dukes, allowing two hits but no runs charged to him.
Scott Silverstein started for the Cavaliers, allowing two runs, one earned, on no hits in five innings. Artie Lewicki held JMU scoreless for two innings before allowing the two runs in the eighth.
Bladel singled and had two walks with an RBI to extended his hitting streak to 12 games for JMU. Colin Harrington was 1-for-2 with two RBIs and a walk for Virginia as the two teams combined for more runs (8) than hits (7).
Virginia grabbed the game's first run in the fourth as third baseman Stephen Bruno laced a two-out triple to the gap in left. That was followed by right fielder Mike Papi's RBI double to right center. First baseman Jared King reached on a throwing error but Papi was retired at the plate on the play to end the inning at 1-0.
JMU answered in the bottom of the frame as McInturff was hit by a pitch and Bladel walked. A fielder's choice advanced both runners and senior designated hitter Evan Scott (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) walked to load the bases. Junior catcher Bradley Shaban (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) reached on a fielder's choice RBI to tie the score with a fielding error allowing McFarland to plate the go-ahead run.
The 2-1 margin held until the seventh when Virginia staged a no-hit rally of its own. With one out, consecutive batters were hit by a pitch and a walk loaded the bases. Catcher Keith Werman lofted a sacrifice fly to center to bring in the tying run at 2-2.
JMU will host its 2012 home opener on Wednesday at 4 p.m. as the Dukes welcome Longwood to Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.