HARRISONBURG, Va., May 1, 2011 - James Madison scored the final four runs of the game and did not allow one hit in the final three innings en route to a series sweep of UNC Wilmington with a 9-6 Colonial Athletic Association baseball victory on Sunday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Park.
It was the first series sweep by the Diamond Dukes against the Seahawks since 2002. JMU improved to 30-15 this season and 15-9 in the CAA, tying Delaware at the top of the league standings. UNCW dropped to 23-21 on the year and 12-9 in the CAA.
Junior Josh Futter (Columbia, Md./Wilde Lake) entered the game in the seventh inning and allowed no hits and one walk in relief to pick up the victory and improve to 2-0 this season. Senior David Herbek (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) notched a game-high three RBIs, despite leaving the game in the third inning due to injury, and freshman Conner Brown (Richmond, Va./Godwin) and redshirt senior Alex Foltz (Mathias, W.Va./East Hardy) each hit home runs for the Dukes.
Trailing 6-5 entering the bottom of the sixth, Foltz tied the game for JMU with a solo shot to left field, his seventh of the year.
In the seventh, the Dukes regained the lead at 8-6 with a pair of runs. Sophomore Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield) walked to open the frame and stole second base. Sophomore Johnny Bladel (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) hit a RBI double to left field and McInturff scored. Bladel later scored from third on a wild pitch to give JMU a two-run advantage. The lead stretched to 9-6 in the eighth when Foltz scored on a sacrifice bunt by Sophomore Bradley Shaban (Midlothian, Va./Cosby). Futter was able to retire all three batters in the ninth to close out the game.
Herbek put the Dukes on the board with two outs in the bottom of the third inning with a bases-clearing single down the left-field line to give JMU a 3-0 lead. Following the play, junior Ian Haynes (Danville, Va./Tunstall) came in to pinch run for Herbek. Sophomore Matt Tenaglia (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks East) singled through the right side and Haynes advanced to third. The lead extended to 4-0 when Tenaglia stole second and Haynes successfully completed the double steal by crossing home plate.
The following inning, the Diamond Dukes upped their lead to 5-0 when Brown hit solo home run, his second of the season, over the left-center wall.
UNCW's offense came alive in the top of the fifth, as it tied the game at 5-5. Alex Pope led off with a single for the Seahawks' first hit of the game. Two batters later, Ryan LaGrange doubled down the left-field line, scoring Pope from first base. Cameron Cockman singled up the middle on the next at-bat to score LaGrange from second and cut the lead to 5-2.
The next two batters walked to load the bases for the Seahawks. A fielder's choice scored Cockman from third and put runners on the corners with two outs. Hunter Ridge stepped up to the plate and tied the game with a two-RBI double down the line in right field, Josh Abshire and Matt Campbell scored.
In the sixth, UNCW took its first lead of the game. Pope led off with a double down the left line and advanced to third on a balk. The Dukes retired the next two batters, but Cockman singled through the right side to score Pope and put the Seahawks up 6-5.
JMU scored the final four runs and held the Hawks without a hit over the final three to sweep the series.
The Dukes return to action next weekend with a two-game set at Virginia Tech. They open the series with the Hokies Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and wrap up Sunday with a 1 p.m. contest.