HARRISONBURG, Va., April 13, 2011 - Seniors David Herbek (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) and Alex Foltz (Mathias, W.Va./East Hardy) led off the 12th inning with back-to-back doubles as James Madison pulled out a 12-inning 13-12 victory over Maryland in non-conference baseball action on Wednesday night at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.
JMU improved to 23-11 overall and won its third in a row against Maryland, which fell to 16-18. The Dukes also improved to 2-1 in extra innings and picked up their first walk-off victory of the season. It was the longest game by innings for JMU since a 12-inning game vs. Lafayette on Feb. 27, 2009 and the longest by time since a 4-hour, 39-minute, 14-inning game on April 25, 2007 at Virginia.
The Dukes rushed out to a 9-1 lead after five innings only to see the Terrapins rally with four in the sixth and five in the seventh to take a 10-9 lead. Madison responded with three in the seventh only to see Maryland tie it up in the eighth on a two-run, two-out homer.
After a combined 24 runs in the first seven and a half innings, both teams got stellar performances from the bullpens as each team went scoreless for four straight innings.
Herbek led off the 12th with his fourth hit of the game, a double to right center on a one-ball, one-strike pitch. Foltz followed by lining the second pitch he saw over the right fielder's head for the game-winning double.
Sophomore D.J. Brown (Locust Grove, Va./Orange County) was stout in just his second relief appearance of the season as he pitched four scoreless innings allowing just one hit and striking out seven to improve to 5-0. He retired 12 of the 16 batters he faced, including back-to-back strikeouts in the 12th after the Terps put runners on second and third with one out.
Herbek finished 4-for-7 with a pair of doubles, a triple and four RBIs. His four hits matched his career high for the third time. Sophomore right fielder Johnny Bladel (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge), playing in just his third game since being hit in the head March 29, went 3-for-6 with two RBIs, a solo home run, a walk, and a career-high five runs scored. Junior catcher Jake Lowery (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) had a bases-loaded triple and a sacrifice fly for four RBIs to go with two walks.
Korey Wacker dropped to 2-2 with the loss for Maryland. He had not allowed a hit for 2 1/3 innings prior to the two doubles in the 12th. He had allowed just three extra-base hits all season in 17 innings prior to his appearance Wednesday.
The bottom five spots in the order had 11 of Maryland's season-high 16 hits. The 12 runs scored were also a season high for the Terps. Catcher Aaron Etchison had two hits and three RBIs with a home run. Austin Kilbourne had three hits, a walk, two RBIs, three runs and a home run. First baseman Tim Kiene also had three hits and a walk while scoring twice. Third baseman Jake Stinnett homered while Wacker also had two hits and two RBIs.
JMU scored the game's first run on its first batter of the game as Bladel returned from his injury hiatus to lead off with an opposite-field solo shot to right.
In the second, sophomore second baseman Bradley Shaban (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) was hit by a pitch and moved to second as a fouled-out bunt attempt resulted in the catcher throwing the ball away trying to pick off Shaban at first. The third baseman then threw away a potential third-out grounder to allow Shaban to score for a 2-0 lead. Herbek lifted a high fly off the wall in left to score a pair of runs for a 4-0 lead.
Maryland scored its first run in the fourth on the first career homer by Kilbourne.
Bladel singled with one out in the fourth and stole second. He came in to score on a two-out triple over the center fielder's head by Herbek.
JMU loaded the bases in the fifth on a Conner Brown (Richmond, Va./Godwin) walk, Shaban single through the right side and an Ian Haynes (Danville, Va./Tunstall) walk. Bladel then lined a sharp single to center to drive in one run for a 6-1 lead. Lowery then unloaded the bases against new pitcher Michael Boyden with a triple to left. It was his 10th career three-bagger and fifth this season to move into a tie for seventh in JMU career history and sixth in season history.
Maryland got a leadoff single by second baseman Ryan Holland and an RBI triple to straightaway center by designated hitter Michael Montville to make it 9-2. Kilbourne added an RBI double to the corner in left to make it 9-3. Etchison added a two-run homer to left in the inning to make it 9-5.
After two outs in the seventh, Maryland loaded the bases on a Kilbourne single and a pair of walks. Etchison then singled to left to make it 9-6. Wacker singled up the middle to drive in two more runs. Right fielder Charlie White then tied the game with an RBI double. An infield single by shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez gave Maryland the lead at 10-9.
JMU responded to Maryland's five-run seventh with a rally of its own. Walks by Shaban, Haynes and Bladel led off the inning. Lowery lifted a sacrifice fly to right to tie the score at 10-10 and Herbek added a single to center for the lead. With the bases reloaded, sophomore first baseman Matt Tenaglia (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks East) grounded out to first to make it 12-10.
The first two batters went down quietly in the Maryland eighth before another two-out rally. Kiene doubled to left center and Stinnett followed with an opposite-field homer to right center to tie the score at 12-12.
The game went into extra innings with the teams exchanging goose eggs. Maryland put runners on second and third with one out in the 12th but Brown recovered to record back-to-back strikeouts to preserve the 12-12 score and set the stage for Herbek and Foltz to begin the bottom of the frame.
JMU wrapped up a four-game home stretch and will now embark on an eight-game road swing. It begins with a three-game series this weekend at UNC Greensboro with a 6 p.m. game Friday followed by 1 p.m. contests Saturday and Sunday.
NOTES: Bladel became the second JMU player this season to score five times in a game, having also done it on Feb. 20 in the fourth game of the season against Bucknell... Herbek's game-winning run scored moved him into 10th in career runs at JMU with 172... the double to start the inning was also the 400th career total base for Herbek to climb into eighth all-time... Herbek also moved into fifth with 56 career doubles and passed former teammate Matt Browning (2007-10) into eighth in career RBIs with 170.