BROOKLINE, Mass., March 30, 2013 – Northeastern grabbed a 4-0 lead after two innings, added two each in the fifth and sixth and continually stymied any James Madison rally attempt in an 8-3 decision in game two of a Colonial Athletic Association baseball series on Saturday afternoon at Friedman Diamond.
NU improved to 14-11, 4-7 in the CAA while JMU fell to 14-11, 6-4 in the league. It was the fifth loss for the Dukes in the last eight games.
JMU senior center fielder Johnny Bladel (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) reached base in all five plate appearances, going 4-for-4 with four singles and a hit by pitch. He extended his hitting streak to 13 games during which time he is batting .510 with a .652 on-base percentage, thanks to 15 walks and five hit by pitches.
Starter Nick Berger (3-4) limited JMU to one run on six hits in five innings to earn the victory. Redshirt sophomore Luke Drayer (Hummelstown, Pa./Hershey) took the loss for the Dukes after surrendering four runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Shortstop Jason Vosler led the Huskies by going 2-for-4 with a triples, two runs, two RBIs and a walk. Third baseman Pete Castoldi and designated hitter John Puttress each went 2-for-4 while center fielder Conner Lyons doubled, walked and drove in a pair of runs.
In addition to Bladel, redshirt junior first baseman Matt Tenaglia (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks East) was 2-for-3 with two walks. Senior right fielder Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield) was also 2-for-3 with the only extra-base hit, a double, while scoring twice and drawing a walk.
While NU grabbed the early lead and added to it, JMU squandered several opportunities to crawl back, stranding 11 runners on the bases. The Dukes had the bases loaded with one out in the third and couldn’t convert. With runners on second and third on an RBI single in the fourth, the second runner was cut down at the plate to end the inning. JMU stranded runners on the corners in the fifth and hit into a double play with runners on the corners and one out in the seventh. Finally, trailing by five, the Dukes loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth but could only drive one run in on a fielder’s choice groundout.
The Huskies claimed the quick lead with a three-run first, beginning with Vosler’s RBI triple. First baseman Rob Fonseca and second baseman Michael Foster added RBI singles. Northeastern made it a 4-0 lead with a fielder’s choice groundout by Vosler in the second. JMU got one back with Bladel’s RBI single that included sophomore Tyler Duke (Troutville, Va./James River) being thrown out at the plate.
NU added a pair of two-run innings sandwiched around a run for the Dukes in the sixth on freshman Tyler Carroll’s (Oakton, Va./Oakton) RBI groundout. Before that, NU scored twice in the fifth on RBIs by Puttress and catcher Josh Treff. Lyons contributed a two-run double in the sixth.
JMU will look to avoid the weekend sweep as the teams contest game three on Sunday afternoon at noon.