CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., April 6, 2010 - James Madison received 14 walks from Virginia pitchers but stranded a season-high 16 runners thanks to a JMU record-tying 18 strikeouts in a 9-4 UVA win in a non-conference baseball game on Tuesday night at Davenport Field.
Virginia, ranked fourth nationally by Baseball America, improved to 24-6 and swept the season series with the Dukes after winning 6-3 in Harrisonburg on March 17. JMU fell to 15-13 for the season.
JMU head coach Spanky McFarland, who was ejected in the sixth inning for arguing balls and strikes, felt it was difficult for the JMU batters to gain any rhythm at the plate. He stated, "If you read the box score you can figure out what happened in this game. We struck out 18 times and they struck out once. They walked 14 batters and we walked five. Those numbers pretty much tell it all."
The 18 strikeouts by JMU batters matched the school record set in 1984 against Maryland. The 16 runners left on base were the most since last April at George Washington and the 14 walks were the most since April, 2007 at GWU. JMU had 20 total base runners in the game. The Dukes stranded 10 runners in the first five innings with strikeouts accounting for 13 of the 15 total outs recorded.
Justin Thompson earned the win as the third of seven Virginia pitchers in the game. All seven of his outs recorded were via strikeout while facing 10 batters.
Redshirt senior Jason Kuhn (Stafford, Va./Brooke Point) took the loss to drop to 1-2 after allowing six runs, five earned, on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings.
JMU had five total hits in the contest with senior second baseman Mike Fabiaschi (Torrington, Conn./Torrington) smacking a solo home run and drawing a game-high three walks. Redshirt junior first baseman Trevor Knight (Charlottesville, Va./St. Anne's-Belfield) had an RBI double for the only other extra-base hit for the Dukes.
Shortstop Tyler Cannon paced the UVA offense with three hits, including a double, and two RBIs. Designated hitter Stephen Bruno, left fielder John Barr, right fielder Kenny Swab, and third baseman Chris Taylor each had two hits in the 14-hit Virginia attack.
Virginia starter Will Roberts showed shaky control from the beginning as freshman outfielder Johnny Bladel (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) led off with a walk and Knight sent a three ball, one strike pitch to the gap in right center for an RBI double, extending his hitting streak to 18 games. After a strikeout and another walk by junior shortstop David Herbek (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield), Virginia made the early call to the bullpen to Shane Halley. An eight-pitch walk by sophomore catcher Jake Lowery (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) loaded the bases before a strikeout and a diving stop by Steven Proscia at first on a groundout stranded three.
In the bottom of the first, consecutive one-out singles, a double steal, and a walk loaded the bases. A sacrifice fly to left by center fielder Jarrett Parker scored Cannon to tie the score at 1-1.
Fabiaschi led off the second for JMU with a solo shot to left on a full-count offering from Halley, the second round tripper of the season for the senior. The Dukes proceeded to put runners on the corners with a pair of two-out, full-count walks and a steal of third by Knight, but a strikeout escaped further damage.
After a pair of flyouts in the Virginia second, Taylor laid down a bunt single and moved to second on a throwing error by senior third baseman Matt Browning (Mystic, Conn./Fitch). That proved costly as second baseman Phil Gosselin lined an RBI single to left to tie the score 2-2. A double to center just in front of the diving glove of freshman Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield) gave Virginia its first lead, 3-2.
Kuhn got two quick outs in the Virginia third before catcher John Hicks belted a solo home run just to the left of the high wall in straightaway center for a 4-2 score for the Cavs.
In the fifth, Virginia loaded the bases with one out and pushed in run number five on a wild pitch. The next play was a grounder back to the pitcher with the runner being trapped on the third-base line. Lowery chased him back to third but then missed the tag on the other runner who had advanced to third. The ensuing rundown to second allowed the runner to score from third after all for a 6-2 UVA lead.
Barr led off the bottom of the eighth with a triple into the corner in right field. He scored on a single through a drawn-in infield by Swab for a 7-2 score. After a bunt single and a passed ball, a sacrifice fly by Gosselin drove in another run. Cannon followed with an RBI double to left for a 9-2 lead.
JMU finally broke its six-inning scoreless drought in the ninth. Pinch hitter Brett Garner (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock) singled and Townsend was hit by a pitch. Freshman pinch hitter Billy Logan (Greenup, Ky./Greenup County) then singled through the right side to plate a run. A walk to Fabiaschi loaded the bases and a two-out walk by Bladel made it 9-4.
JMU will be back in action on Wednesday with a 5 p.m. game at VMI, which is ranked 29th in the Collegiate Baseball national poll.
NOTES: Knight's 17-game hitting streak entering the day was the eighth-longest active streak in Division I... with his fourth-inning single, Browning moved into 10th in JMU history in career total bases with 380... McFarland's ejection means he must also sit out Wednesday's game at VMI...