WILLIAMSBURG, Va., March 4, 2011 - Sophomore infielder Bradley Shaban (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) hit a key two-run single in the seventh and James Madison held on for a 5-4 victory over William and Mary in the Colonial Athletic Association baseball opener for both teams on Friday afternoon at Plumeri Park.
JMU improved to 9-1 overall, matching its best winning percentage since being 8-0-2 in 1988. The Dukes won their fifth game in a row and won their CAA opener for the fourth straight season. W&M fell to 2-9 overall.
Madison claimed an early lead in the game with two in the first and one in the third. The Dukes led 3-1 in the seventh with two outs when a walk by freshman third baseman Tyler McFarland (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) and an infield single by sophomore right fielder Johnny Bladel (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) set the stage for Shaban's big hit.
W&M rallied in the late innings, thanks in part to 13 walks issued by JMU pitchers. The Tribe got one in the seventh and two in the eighth, but left the bases loaded in the inning. Sophomore pitcher Nick Slogik (Strongsville, Ohio/St. Edward) closed the door in the ninth for his second career save.
Junior starter Evan Scott (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) was effectively wild for 5 1/3 innings to improve to 2-0 for the season. He allowed one run on four hits but issued eight walks.
Shaban ended the day with two of JMU's eight hits and the two big RBIs. Sophomore left fielder Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield) also had two hits and JMU went without an extra-base hit in the game.
Preseason All-CAA pitcher Matt Davenport, one of the league's top starters, took the loss for the Tribe and fell to 0-2 after allowing five runs, three earned, on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings. Jay McCarthy retired all six JMU batters faced in relief.
Third baseman Ryan Lindemuth was 2-for-4 with a run and a walk among the Tribe's seven hits. Shortstop Derrick Osteen walked three times, singled, and drove in a pair of runs.
JMU got on the board in the first inning as sophomore first baseman Matt Tenaglia (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks East) walked and junior catcher Jake Lowery (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) singled to put runners on second and third. A David Herbek (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) groundout brought in one run. Redshirt senior designated hitter Trevor Knight (Charlottesville, Va./St. Anne's-Belfield) then reached on an error, allowing Lowery to score from third for a 2-0 lead.
In the second, catcher Chris Forsten walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. A bunt single loaded the bases with no outs. Outfielder Jackson Shaver's sacrifice fly brought in the first Tribe run, but a pair of ground outs ended the threat.
JMU got one back on the third as Herbek reached on an error and moved to second on a ground out. McFarland then singled to right to drive in the unearned run for a 3-1 lead.
The 3-1 score held until the seventh when the Dukes mounted the big two-out rally. McFarland walked and Bladel reached on an infield single. A wild pitch advanced both runners, and Shaban came up with a clutch two-run bouncer up the middle to make it 5-1 and chase Davenport from the game.
The Tribe struck for one in the seventh as center fielder Ryan Brown singled with one out, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored on an RBI single to right by Osteen.
In the W&M eighth, a double and two walks loaded the bases with one out and a wild pitch made it 5-3. After a second out and a JMU pitching change, Slogik issued the 11th and 12th walks of the afternoon by JMU pitchers to make it 5-4 before a flyout ended the inning.
Slogik finished the ninth with a popup, a runner caught stealing following the 13th walk by a JMU pitcher and a strikeout.
JMU and W&M will finish the three-game set on Saturday at 1 p.m. with a doubleheader after Sunday's game was moved up a day due to expected steady rains on Sunday.