After a quiet week due to Wednesday's rainout against Liberty, James Madison baseball continues its 10-game home stretch as it begins a weekend series versus Lafayette on Friday at 4 p.m. Saturday's game will begin at 1 p.m. followed by the series finale on Sunday at 1 p.m.
The weekend series against Lafayette will be JMU's second non-conference series of the season after playing fellow Patriot League member Bucknell the previous weekend. Bucknell won three of the four games in the series and didn't allow the Dukes to score more than six runs in the final three games, all loses.
Sophomore Ty McFarland enters the series with a hot bat, going 11-for-17 (.647) over the weekend with seven runs and three doubles. Just eight games into the season, he is third in the CAA in batting (.469), second in doubles (5), third in slugging percentage (.688), fi fth in on-base percentage (.500) and leads the league in hits (15), runs (11) and total bases (22).
The Dukes hit .338 as a team in the weekend series with sophomore Conner Brown batting .412 with a double and JMU's fi rst home run of the season. Senior Ian Haynes also hit .400 for the week. Trent Cundiff made three pitching appearances in the series, throwing three total scoreless innings.
The Leopards enter the weekend coming off of a Tuesday loss at La Salle by an 11-1 count. Lafayette opened its season last weekend with a weekend series win just down the interstate at VMI, losing 8-0 before recovering for 12-5 and 5-4 wins.
Kevin Casey is batting .636 with a home run and fi ve RBIs to lead a Leopards team that is hitting just .220 as a team, .181 not including Casey. Andrew Ruck is batting .375 with three doubles. Lafayette owns a 6.55 staff ERA with opponents batting .299.
JMU leads the all-time series 3-1. The last meeting between the two teams was February 28, 2009 in Harrisonburg as the Dukes won the contest 10-9 off shortstop David Herbek's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning. JMU won the three-game weekend series 2-1 against LC in 2009 after losing the first game by one run.
Game 1 - Friday 4 p.m.
JMU - Sean Tierney, r-Sr., LHP (1-1, 4.35 ERA)
Sean Tierney is 1-1 with a 4.35 ERA on the year after throwing six innings while only allowing one run on seven hits in the series opener with Bucknell this past Friday.
Lafayette - John Gentile, Sr., RHP (0-1, 5.40 ERA)
Gentile pitches for the first time since the 2012 season opener at VMI when the Leopards were shut out 8-0. He allowed three runs on five hits in five innings of work before the bullpen allowed five runs in three innings.
Game 2 - Saturday 1 p.m.
JMU - Patrick Toohers, Fr., RHP (0-0, 3.00 ERA)
Toohers has allowed two earned runs in six innings of work this season as a true freshman. He pitched one inning in his last outing against Bucknell and gave up two runs.
Lafayette - Ethan Perro, Sr., RHP (1-0, 3.60 ERA)
Perro allowed two runs on six hits in five innings of the game two last weekend at VMI. After being shut out in game one, the Leopards supported him to the tune of 12 runs on 13 hits in posting the 12-5 win.
Game 3 - Sunday 1 p.m.
JMU - TBA
Lafayette - Connor Ortolf, So., LHP (0-0, 6.75 ERA)
Ortolf allowed four runs, three earned, on seven hits in four innings last Sunday at VMI but did not receive the decision as Lafayette rallied with a run in the sixth to win 5-4.