JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 7, 2010 - Jacksonville posted seven of its 15 hits in a 10-run fourth inning while benefitting from a pair of James Madison errors to start the frame en route to a 13-5 baseball victory on Sunday afternoon at Sessions Stadium.
JU improved to 6-4 with the victory. JMU dropped to 3-4 after having a three-game winning streak snapped. The Dukes dropped to 2-1 on their current eight-game swing in Florida.
"We gave them seven outs in the fourth inning," commented head coach Spanky McFarland. "Once again, it was a big inning that hurt us. In four losses, that's four big innings."
Matt Tomshaw earned the victory after allowing two runs on seven hits with five strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.
Junior Alex Valadja (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Catholic) allowed nine runs, seven earned, on eight hits in three innings to suffer the loss. Freshman Nick Slogik (Strongsville, Ohio/St. Edward) made his collegiate debut and surrendered no runs on three hits in four innings of relief.
Kevin Lehane drove in four with a three-run home run and a single for the Dolphins. Shorstop Derek Abis was 2-for-4 with three RBIs. First baseman Alex Martinez, catcher Alex Swenson, and third baseman Jimmy Howick each had two hits.
Four Dukes had two hits apiece, including redshirt senior right fielder Matt Townsend (Lorton, Va./Hayfield), senior left fielder Matt Browning (Mystic, Conn./Fitch), junior third baseman McKinnon Langston (Tallahassee, Fla./North Florida Christian), and sophomore catcher Jake Lowery (Midlothian, Va./Cosby). Lowery smacked a two-run home run in the ninth, his second of the season.
Jacksonville already led 2-0 when the Dolphins posted the big 10-spot in the fourth. Consecutive fielding errors by senior second baseman Kent Burford (Waynesboro, Va./Stuarts Draft) and Valadja. A bunt single scored the first run and opened the floodgates. A two-run single by Abis, a two-run double by center fielder Dan Gulbransen, and Lehane's three-run homer were keys to the big inning.
The Dolphins grabbed the early lead in the second as Martinez led off with a double and Lehane knocked him in with a single up the middle. Another double down the left-field line by Swenson scored the second run.
JMU finally got on the board in the fifth on an RBI double down the left-field line by Townsend and an RBI single up the middle by Browning.
JU got one back in the eighth on an RBI single by pinch hitter Adam Brett Walker.
JMU posted its final three runs in the ninth on an RBI groundout by freshman Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield) and Lowery's two-run shot to right field.
JMU will be off on Monday before heading to Deland, Florida on Tuesday for a 6:30 p.m. game at Stetson.
McFarland added, "We should get shortstop David Herbek (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) back in the lineup on Tuesday, which will help us defensively. A day off tomorrow will also help the pitching staff."