HARRISONBURG, Va., Mar. 16, 2013 - Limited to two hits to that point, UNCW broke through with a seven-run sixth inning on five hits to grab control and defeat James Madison 9-1 in the second game a Colonial Athletic Association baseball series on Saturday evening at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.
UNCW improved to 12-7 overall and 1-1 in the CAA. JMU fell to 11-7, 4-1 in the league while having its nine-game winning streak snapped. The streak had been the fifth-longest active streak in the country with JMU scoring in double figures in eight of the nine games.
The game was a scoreless tie until the bottom of the fifth when JMU finally broke through with a run. However, UNCW responded in a big way in the sixth. Left-handed starter Luke Drayer (Hummelstown, Pa./Hershey) was cruising, allowing two hits with six strikeouts, until exiting with one out and two in scoring positions.
New pitcher Michael Church (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock) issued back-to-back walks for UNCW to tie then Ryan LaGrange singled to plate two for a 3-1 lead. After another pitching change, a single loaded the bases and catcher Drew Farber drove in two with a single off the first base bag and into right field. Terence Connelly and Michael Bass added RBI singles to make it a seven-run uprising to essentially clinch the win.
Starter Jordan Ramsey earned the win to improve to 2-2 for the Seahawks, surviving 10 hits to allow just one run while striking out five. Three relievers pitched one perfect inning apiece to close the victory. Drayer was the tough-luck loser for the Dukes after the two inherited runners by Church came around to score.
JMU led UNCW in hits 10-8 with neither team collecting an extra-base hit. Senior center fielder Johnny Bladel (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) was 3-for-4 with a hit by pitch to reach base four times. Junior first baseman Matt Tenaglia (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks East) was also 3-for-4 to up his batting average to .448. Senior center fielder Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield) was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Farber was 2-for-5 with three RBIs for UNCW. Luke Dunlap singled in his only official at bat but drew four of the 11 walks in the game by the Seahawks.
Tough luck hurt the Dukes right out of the gate. JMU had a chance to break things wide open in the first inning, loading the bases with no outs. However, Carroll's sharp grounder to the right side that looked to be a one- or two-run RBI single hit Tenaglia on the base paths for the out, keeping the runners in place. Senior shortstop Casey Goss (Springfield, Mo./Glenville) followed with a hard ball up the middle that caromed off the pitcher for a double play to end the inning with no damage.
Madison left the bases loaded in the third and stranded eight through four innings. After nine hits, the 10th one finally broke through. With Tenaglia on second, McInturff singled to center field with two outs in the fifth for the first run of the game.
After the Seahawks' seven-run sixth, UNCW added two more in the seventh without the aid of a hit. Three walks, all on four pitches, loaded the bases with one out. A fielder's choice drove in one when Farber beat out the potential double-play throw at first. A fielding error at shortstop allowed a second run to score to make it 9-1.
The teams will finish the series on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.