CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., April 4, 2012 - Virginia struck for nine runs in the fourth inning with five scoring on a pair of home runs to left field as James Madison fell 15-5 in a non-conference baseball game Wednesday night at Davenport Field.
Virginia, ranked 29th by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, improved to 19-10-1 overall and finished the season series 2-0-1 against the Dukes. JMU dropped to 6-22-1 overall.
Right fielder Colin Harrington went 3-for-4 with four RBIs, including a two-run home run in the fourth inning. First baseman Jared King added a three-run blast in the inning and scored four times with two walks and a hit by pitch. Designated hitter Branden Cogswell and left fielder Derek Fisher each had two hits.
Kyle Crockett picked up the win for Virginia in his first start of the season. Nick Howard worked three scoreless innings of relief. JMU junior Nick Slogik (Strongsville, Ohio/St. Edward) took the loss to fall to 0-4 after five runs allowed in three innings.
Junior second baseman Casey Goss (Springfield, Mo./Glendale) had singles in the first and ninth innings to keep his streaks alive of 11 straight games with hits and nine straight with multiple hits. Freshman shortstop Chad Carroll (Oakton, Va./Oakton) also had two singles.
Trailing 2-1 entering the bottom of the fourth, Virginia struck for nine runs on six hits, beginning with an RBI triple by Fisher to tie the score.. Harrington then picked up his second and third RBIs with a two-run blast to left field for a 4-2 lead. With runners on the corners, second baseman Keith Werman rolled a perfect squeeze bunt down the first-base line to score a run for a 5-2 lead. A walk and a bunt single loaded the bases before a two-run single by infielder Stephen Bruno and a three-run home run by King made it 10-2.
The game opened in promising fashion for JMU after loading the bases with a Goss leadoff single, a Conner Brown (Richmond, Va./Godwin) hit by pitch and an Evan Scott (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) four-pitch walk. With one out, junior first baseman/catcher Bradley Shaban (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) smacked a deep fly to the warning track in right but was limited to an RBI single as the runners held for a potential catch. Junior center fielder Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield) then grounded to shortstop but was safe on an error to make it 2-0.
King led off the Virginia second with a five-pitch walk. He stole second on a strikeout, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI single up the middle by Harrington.
After the fourth-inning eruption, Virginia kept things going in the sixth with RBI singles from Fisher and Harrington and a sacrifice fly by catcher Nate Irving. An RBI single by pinch hitter Kenny Towns in the seventh made it 14-2. Another run scored as pinch hitter Mike Papi reached on an error.
After 15 unanswered runs by Virginia, JMU got a one-out single by Carroll in the eighth and an RBI double by freshman first baseman Aaron Hoover (Centreville, Va./Westfield). JMU added its final two runs in the ninth after a bases-loaded error.
The Dukes return to Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park this weekend to host Northeastern in a Colonial Athletic Association series with games at 6:30 p.m. Friday, 6:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
NOTES: Junior left fielder Colby Roberts (Benton, Ark./Benton) saw his nine-game hitting streak snapped, though he factored into the game with two walks and a run scored... freshman Cody Miller (Westlake, Ohio/Padua Franciscan) pitched a scoreless ninth in his first appearance since March 14... sophomore catcher Nick Merullo (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand) broke an 0-for-13 slump with his first hit since March 7.