LYNCHBURG, Va., April 21, 2010 - First baseman Doug Bream drove in four runs on four hits and a pair of five-run innings pushed Liberty past James Madison 12-7 in a non-conference mid-week baseball game on Wednesday afternoon at Worthington Stadium.
LU improved to 26-11 on the season and earned a split in the season series after the Dukes won 13-2 in Harrisonburg on March 16. The Flames won for the 13th time in 16 games and snapped an eight-game losing streak against JMU, dating back to the 2006 season. JMU fell to 20-17 overall.
Liberty grabbed the early lead with five unearned runs on a pair of JMU errors in the second inning. The Flames then used another five-run outburst in the sixth to break open a 7-6 game and essentially seal the victory.
Dane Beakler earned the win in relief as the pitcher of record with Liberty leading after five innings. He improved to 3-2 after allowing one run on one hit with two strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings.
Freshman starter D.J. Brown (Locust Grove, Va./Orange County) took the loss for JMU to fall to 3-3. All four runs against him were unearned while he allowed three hits in 1 2/3 innings. He was the first of six pitchers for the Dukes.
Doug Bream went 4-for-5 with four RBIs. He hit a two-run home run and had one of six doubles for the Flames. Third baseman Tyler Bream and left fielder Kenneth Negron each went 3-for-4 with Bream driving in two. Center fielder Curran Redal had two hits, two RBIs, and three runs scored while right fielder Michael Robertson was 2-for-3 with a walk, run, and RBI.
Redshirt junior first baseman Trevor Knight (Charlottesville, Va./St. Anne's-Belfield) was the lone batter with multiple hits in JMU's nine-hit effort, finishing with two doubles, an RBI, and a run scored. Freshman right fielder Matt Tenaglia (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks East), left fielder Matt Browning (Mystic, Conn./Fitch), and junior McKinnon Langston (Tallahassee, Fla./North Florida Christian) each had solo home runs as the Dukes struggled to string together any hits for a rally.
JMU struck for the early lead in the first with a one-out double by Knight and an RBI single by junior shortstop David Herbek (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield). Herbek moved to second on a walk and reached third with a steal, but a pickoff and a strikeout ended the inning.
The Dukes added a run in the second on a solo shot to right center by Tenaglia, his fifth round tripper of the season, for the 2-0 lead.
Liberty then struck for its first five-spot in the second as second baseman P.J. Jimenez reached on an error on a dropped fly and moved to second. With two outs, Tyler Bream singled through the right side to drive in the run. After a walk, Negron followed with an RBI double to right after a nine-pitch at bat to knot the score at 2-2. Redshirt senior Jason Kuhn (Stafford, Va./Brooke Point) relieved starter D.J. Brown and immediately surrendered a two-run single to Redal for a 4-2 Liberty lead. Redal went to second on the throw and to third as the Dukes threw it away. Doug Bream then hit an infield single for the fifth run of the inning, all unearned.
JMU quickly struck back with a run in the second as redshirt senior center fielder Matt Townsend (Lorton, Va./Hayfield) reached on a leadoff hit by pitch and Knight followed with his second double in as many at bats to drive in Townsend. Herbek was hit by a pitch to put two on with no outs and chase starter Cameron Giannini. New pitcher Tim Dudley used a pair of fly balls and a groundout to end the inning.
In the bottom of the inning, Jimenez was hit by a pitch and scored quickly on the next at bat as designated hitter Justin Robertson doubled for the RBI. Tyler Bream followed with a flare single with the ensuing throw home in time to retire Robertson trying to score.
The Dukes responded in the fourth as redshirt senior catcher Brett Garner (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock) doubled and freshman third baseman Bradley Shaban (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) singled. Townsend then sent a fly ball to left with the ball off the glove of the outfielder to score two runs for a 6-5 score.
Liberty added a run on an RBI double by a Doug Bream in the bottom of the fifth to go up 7-5. However, the Dukes gained back the one-run deficit in the fifth as Browning unloaded a solo home run, his eighth.
Then in the sixth, the Flames struck for their second five spot. Redal singled and Bream smacked a two-run shot to right. Richardson and Jimenez hit consecutive RBI doubles and Tyler Bream added the third RBI double of the inning.
JMU earned its final run in the eighth on Langston's solo shot to center.
This weekend the Dukes take a break from Colonial Athletic Association play and have a three-game non-conference set at Kennesaw State in Georgia with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday and a single game at noon on Sunday.
NOTES: Herbek's hit by pitch in the third was his 12th of the season to move to a tie for seventh on the season leaders chart... Herbek raised his career total to 32, one shy of third in JMU history... Browning's home run was the 29th of his career, two shy of the top 10 all time... the home run also pushed Browning to seventh in career total bases with 398 and broke a three-way tie for 10th in career RBIs with 160... the game also featured the return of sophomore pitcher Evan Scott (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield), who had not seen live pitching action since being shut down with an injury late in the 2009 season... Scott was a weekend starter for the Dukes in 2009 and was expected to fill a weekend or mid-week starting role in 2010 but has been unable to return until today's game.