HARRISONBURG, Va., Feb. 26, 2008 – Radford University scored four runs in each the sixth and eighth innings with half of its 14 hits not leaving the infield in a 9-4 victory over James Madison University in a non-conference baseball game Tuesday afternoon at a wet Long Field/Mauck Stadium.
RU improved to 3-1 overall while JMU dropped to 2-2. Radford was playing in the 1,000th game in program history with a 375-621-4 all-time record.
Freshman Shane Pysh (Wheeling, W.Va./John Marshall) earned his first collegiate victory with three innings in relief allowing one run on two hits for the Highlanders. Freshman Abram Williams (Radford, Va./Radford) picked up his second save with one run allowed in 2 2/3 innings. Redshirt senior Trevor Kaylid (Cary, N.C./Green Hope) took the loss after allowing three runs on five hits without recording an out.
JMU had five doubles and a home run among 10 hits and also stole five bases, but the Dukes left 10 runners stranded in the contest. Junior Matt Townsend (Lorton, Va./Hayfield) went 3-for-5 with a double, two steals, and an RBI. Sophomore Matt Browning (Mystic, Conn./Fitch) ended a brief three-game hitless streak with a double and JMU’s first home run of the season in the ninth. Freshman David Herbek (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) had his first multiple-hit game as a Duke.
Radford had five players pick up a pair of hits, led by redshirt sophomore Tyren Rivers (Suffolk, Va./Nansemond) with a double, a single, a run scored, and three RBIs. Redshirt junior Nick Minter (Virginia Beach, Va./Salem) went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. Junior Mario Duarte (Tampa, Fla./Gaither), senior Nachion Moore (Chesapeake, Va./Greenbriar Ch.), and junior Will Naylor (Clifton, Va./Paul VI) all went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.
After JMU stranded runners at third base in each of the first two innings, Radford started the scoring with a run in the third with Rivers lifting a sacrifice fly to centerfield. The Highlanders loaded the bases before JMU freshman John Mincone (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills East) entered in relief and struck the first batter he faced on the collegiate level. Mincone went on to retire seven batters in a row.
JMU put together a two-out rally in the bottom of the third as redshirt sophomore Steven Caseres (New City, N.Y./St. Joseph Regional) earned a walk. Browning then smacked a 3-1 pitch to left for a double for his first hit of the year. With runners on second and third, redshirt freshman Trevor Knight (Charlottesville, Va./St. Anne’s-Belfield), who two hours earlier was named CAA Rookie of the Week, followed with his first collegiate hit, a two-run double to right center to put the Dukes on top. Townsend then lined a double off the wall in right center that missed going over the fence by two feet to plate the third run.
The lead held until the sixth when Radford sent 10 batters to the plate with five of its six hits in the inning failing to leave the infield. Sophomore Reggie Keen (Danville, Va./GW Danville) hit an RBI double to left for the only hit of the inning to the outfield. Minter had an RBI single to second base, Moore put down a bunt single to first base for an RBI, and the last run came in on a bases-loaded hit batter by JMU freshman James Weiner (Charlottesville, Va./St. Anne’s-Belfield).
The Dukes pulled within a run at 5-4 in the seventh on an RBI groundout by Caseres. However, Radford put together its second four-run inning in the eighth with nine batters going to the plate. Naylor had another RBI bunt single for RU to start the scoring. Rivers and Duarte doubled and tripled in consecutive at bats to drive in runs. Gregory singled up the middle for the final run of the inning.
JMU was unable to mount a rally in the final two at bats with the only scoring coming on a home run to right field by Browning for JMU’s first long ball of the season.
Weather-permitting, JMU will be home again on Wednesday to host VMI at 3 p.m.