HEMPSTEAD, N.Y., March 30, 2008 – James Madison University plated two runs in the eighth inning after Hofstra University had tied the score in the seventh to pull out a 7-5 Colonial Athletic Association victory and complete the series sweep on Sunday afternoon at University Field.
JMU improved to 19-7 overall with its fourth straight victory while improving to 12-3 in conference play. The Dukes picked up their third CAA sweep in five series and improved to 16-6 against the Pride. The seven runs were the most the team has scored in nine tries at University Field. Hofstra dropped to 8-19 overall and 0-12 in the CAA.
Every JMU starter had at least one hit as the Dukes pounded out 15 hits but were kept in check by three double plays. Sophomore Alex Foltz (Mathias, W.Va./East Hardy) matched the career high he set on Friday with four hits, including two doubles. For the series, he had nine hits, two walks, a hit by pitch, and two stolen bases to set the table in the leadoff spot.
Redshirt junior Brett Sellers (Greencastle, Pa./Greencastle-Antrim) was 3-for-4 with a two-run home run and four RBIs for the Dukes. Redshirt senior Joe Lake (Elkridge, Md./Long Reach) had a pair of hits and scored a run. Sophomore Matt Browning (Mystic, Conn./Fitch) had a double, walked, drove in a run, and scored once.
After surrendering the tiebreaking two-run single to his first batter faced, redshirt freshman Trevor Knight (Charlottesville, Va./St. Anne’s-Belfield) retired the next seven batters to end the game and improve to 4-1. Redshirt junior Kurt Houck (Gilbertsville, Pa./Boyertown) started and allowed five runs, just two earned, while allowing only three hits. He set a career high with nine strikeouts.
Hofstra had just four hits in the game with sophomore Elliott Hagburg (East Hanover, N.J./Hanover Park) going 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Sophomore Matt Prokopowicz (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) had a two-run home run and walked twice. Senior Brody Fontaine (Amenia, N.Y./Hotchkiss School) took the loss after entering in the eighth and giving up two runs on three hits. Sophomore Rob Kumbatovic (Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough) started and allowed five runs on 11 hits in seven innings.
JMU struck first in its first at bat with Lake reaching on a one-out single and Sellers nailing the second pitch he saw over the high fence in left field for a two-run home run, tying him for the team lead with nine.
The lead stood until the third inning. Junior Nick Panzarella (Three Bridges, N.J./Immaculata) walked to lead off the inning and moved over on a groundout. Junior Tom Legregni (Paramus, N.J./Paramus) reached on a Mike Fabiaschi (Torrington, Conn./Torrington) throwing error to set up second and third. A groundout brought in the first run. Prokopowicz then lined Houck’s 1-1 offering over the right field fence for a two-run home run, his second of the season and Hofstra’s first hit of the game.
In the fifth, Browning led off with a walk and moved to second on a groundout. Foltz brought him in with a two-out single up the middle to tie the score at 3-3. Sellers then blooped a singled off the end of the bat into right field to put the Dukes back in front.
JMU added a run in the seventh. Fabiaschi led off with a bunt single to third base and was followed by a Foltz double. Sellers drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to right center.
Hofstra put together a rally to tie the score in the seventh. With two outs, the Pride got an infield single and a walk. After a double steal, Prokopowicz walked to load the bases. JMU brought in Knight, and Hagburg greeted his first pitch with a two-run single up the middle.
The Dukes regained the lead in the eighth. Freshman McKinnon Langston (Tallahassee, Fla./North Florida Christian) was brushed by the first offering from relief pitcher Fontaine. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a double to the wall in right field by Browning. Junior Brett Garner (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock) then singled to left center to regain the two-run lead.
JMU will be back at home on Wednesday at 3 p.m. against Radford.