HARRISONBURG, Va., Feb. 20, 2011 - James Madison set a program record for runs over a four-game stretch with 91 while picking up a 19-12 win and earn the series sweep over Bucknell on Sunday afternoon at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.
JMU improved to 4-0 on the season while Bucknell dropped to 0-4. The win followed a Friday score of 37-7 and a Saturday doubleheader with scores of 9-2 and 26-15. The series featured 23 JMU home runs, a team slugging mark of 1.056, a team on-base percentage of .588, and a perfect 16-for-16 on stolen base opportunities. Overall, the Dukes' offense saw 30 innings at the plate for an average of 27.3 runs per nine innings.
On Sunday, sophomore left fielder Johnny Bladel (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) went 3-for-3 with three walks, two steals, an RBI, and five runs scored to pace the JMU offense. Redshirt senior second baseman Trevor Knight (Charlottesville, Va./St. Anne's-Belfield) and senior shortstop David Herbek (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) each drove in four runs with Knight posting a home run and two doubles.
Redshirt junior Sean Tierney (Midlothian, Va./Clover Hill) earned his first collegiate victory with 3 2/3 innings of relief. McFarland made his first career start and left with the lead after five innings. After a shaky first inning, he recovered to retired seven straight batters at one point.
Dylan Seeley suffered his second loss of the weekend to drop to 0-2. Center fielder Bob Donato, first baseman Doug Shribman, and catcher Scott Reed each drove in a trio of runs for the Bison. Donato and Shribman each had home runs while third baseman David Duffett had a team-best three hits.
The game was tied at 8-8 after Shribman's two-run shot in the sixth. A sacrifice fly by Herbek in the bottom of the inning regained the lead. McFarland then hit his solo shot in the seventh and an RBI single by senior center fielder Alex Foltz (Mathias, W.Va./East Hardy) added an 11th run, and the Dukes put the game away with an eight-run eighth inning.
In the top of the first, McFarland surrendered a solo home run to the first batter faced in his career by Bucknell center fielder Donato. The Bison proceeded to load the bases on a pair of walks and a single. A bases-loaded walk by Matt Lamore then brought in the second run. However, McFarland recovered to strike out the next two batters and escape the jam as part of retiring seven in a row.
In the bottom of the frame, Bladel lined a sharp single off the pitcher's foot to the shortstop and beat out the play at first. Knight followed with a double into the corner in left to drive in the first JMU run. Herbek then tied the score at 2-2 by lifting a high fly to the warning track in left for his 17th career sacrifice fly, tying the school record shared by Mitch Rigsby (2000-03) and Steve Ballowe (1999-2002).
Bladel walked and Knight was hit by a pitch to open the third inning. Both advanced on a failed pickoff attempt and Bladel scored when junior catcher Jake Lowery (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) reached on a dropped fly ball by the second baseman. Herbek drove in the fourth run on an RBI groundout and Tenaglia followed with his fourth homer of the weekend, a two-run shot to make it 6-2.
In the fourth, Bucknell loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a walk. Shribman then earned a full-count walk to bring in a run and cut the lead to three. Catcher Scott Reed singled up the middle to bring in two to make it 6-5.
JMU countered in the fourth as Foltz doubled and Bladel walked. On a double steal attempt, the throw at third went into left to allow Foltz to score. Knight then doubled to left to drive in Bladel for an 8-5 lead.
Bucknell got one in the fifth as Duffett doubled then moved a pair of bases on ground outs, the last an RBI grounder to second by Figgie. The Bison knotted the score at 8-8 in the sixth as Shribman blasted his second homer of the weekend, a two-run shot to right center.
The Dukes regained the lead in the sixth as Bladel and Lowery each singled and advanced a base on a wild pitch. Herbek then lifted his second sacrifice fly of the game for the 9-8 lead. It was his 18th career sac fly to break the school record.
After retiring the potential tying run at the plate in the top of the seventh, the Dukes tacked on one in the bottom as McFarland hit a solo shot to right center for his first career round tripper. Sophomore right fielder Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield) was hit by a pitch, stole second, and came in to score on an RBI single by Foltz.
The Dukes plated the 12th run in the eighth as walks by Herbek and Shaban sandwiched a single by Tenaglia. Another walk by McInturff brought in the run. Junior center fielder Ian Haynes (Danville, Va./Tunstall) then doubled off the wall in left center to clear the bases and make it 15-8. Bladel added an RBI single to make it 16-8 and Knight added a two-run homer to make it 18-8.
In the ninth inning, Bucknell picked up a two-run single from Donato. A bases-loaded walk by Reed and a wild pitch each scored a run to make it 19-12.
JMU will have another four-game home set next weekend against Le Moyne with a 3 p.m. start on Friday, a noon doubleheader on Saturday, and a 1 p.m. finale on Sunday.
NOTES: JMU started the season 4-0 for the first time since 2004... the Dukes have not been 5-0 since 1988... JMU is now 20-1 all-time against Bucknell.