James Madison will travel to Lynchburg on Wednesday to take on the Liberty Flames at Worthington Stadium at 3 p.m.
JMU (20-9) had its fourth Colonial Athletic Association series win in five series matchups, taking two out of three at George Mason this weekend. Liberty (15-14) is coming off a Big South sweep at the hands of Coastal Carolina.
First baseman Matt Tenaglia and shortstop David Herbek led the Dukes in batting average in the games played last week, with .438 and .389 marks, respectively. Tenaglia had seven hits in 16 at bats, with an on-base percentage of .571. Herbek drove in nine runs on seven hits and had his 12th home run of the season, tied for second nationally.
The Dukes had 23 stolen bases on 25 attempts in four games, vaulting them in the national lead for stolen bases with 97. JMU now has the rare combination of speed and power, leading the nation in both steals and home runs (53). Ian Haynes was impressive on the base paths, going 7-7 in stolen bases last week.
With three home runs in three consecutive games Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, junior catcher Jake Lowery leads the nation with 14 home runs this season. He drew seven walks and reached base on a hit by pitch as well last week, giving him a .571 on-base percentage despite just four hits.
After being blown out by Coastal Carolina on Friday 17-1, Liberty lost a pair of one-run games to the Chanticleers on Saturday and Sunday, both by 5-4 scores.
The Flames are batting the same as their opponents, at .279. It will be a matchup of two of the nation's top four squads for thefts as JMU ranks first with 97 and Liberty fourth with 64. Junior Matt Williams leads the team with a .368 batting average and 42 hits. Junior catcher Casey Rasmus leads the Flames with 17 stolen bases on 19 attempts this season.
This season, JMU and Liberty have shared common opponents in William and Mary and VCU. Liberty fell to William and Mary 10-9 and defeated VCU 11-1. JMU swept the Tribe on the road and took two out of three from the Rams, also on the road.
JMU leads the series all-time 35-28. The series was split last year with a 13-2 JMU win in Harrisonburg in March followed by a 12-7 loss on the road in April. JMU had won eight in a row against Liberty until the April loss.
JMU - Luke Munson, Fr., LHP (0-1, 7.84 ERA)
This will be Munson's fifth start and sixth appearance this season. In his last start against Longwood, he went two innings and gave up two runs on two hits and struck out two.
Liberty - J.J. McLeod, Sr., RHP (0-1, 4.50 ERA)
McLeod will be making his first start of the season against JMU. He has made six relief appearances covering a total of six innings. He has allowed just two hits in those six innings for a staff-best .105 opponent average.