JMU baseball snapped its nine-game losing streak, defeating the Tribe of William & Mary 3-1 on Saturday and 5-3 on Sunday at Plumeri Park in Williamsburg, Virginia. Saturday’s victory was the Dukes’ first win since March 27 against VMI.
Stepping up to the mound Saturday for the Dukes was sophomore pitcher Nick Stewart, who came into the game with an ERA of .300 and 32 strikeouts. Stewart shut down the Tribe for the first six innings of the game, keeping them scoreless until the bottom of the seventh inning when William & Mary freshman outfielder Jack Cone hit a solo home run to give the Tribe a 1-0 lead.
Stewart was immediately pulled for junior relief pitcher Shelton Perkins, who took over and kept the Tribe scoreless for the final three innings. In his three innings pitched, Perkins struck out eight of the final nine batters William & Mary sent to the plate in the game.
JMU remained scoreless until the eighth inning when freshman catcher Travis Reifsnider scored on a passed ball to tie the ballgame. Then, junior infielder Fox Semones hit an RBI double to score freshman infielder Trevon Dabney and freshman infielder Carson Bell. JMU took a 3-1 lead over the Tribe and held on to win their first game in 17 days.
Looking to start a winning streak, the Dukes played to a crowd of 404 people Sunday in the series finale. Senior pitcher Joe Williams was called to start for the Dukes and delivered a solid performance for JMU, striking out three Tribe batters and allowing only five hits and two runs in his six innings pitched.
Like it did on Saturday, the Tribe got on the board first. William & Mary took an early 2-0 lead through the first three innings after junior catcher Matthew Trehub hit into a fielder’s choice for an RBI in the first, and an RBI single from Cone scored home senior infielder Kyle Wrighte.
Sunday was no different for the Dukes as they took a late lead again. Semones bunted for an RBI single to bring home freshman outfielder Callaway Sigler in the sixth before freshman outfielder David Willis blasted a home run over the left field wall to tie the game in the seventh. JMU’s offense was in full swing in the eighth inning, scoring three runs off a single by freshman infielder Kyle Novak and a double from junior first baseman Brady Harju.
The Tribe did score a run in the bottom of the ninth inning, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Dukes. JMU won its first series in almost a month, dating back to March 24 when they took two out of three from CAA rival Delaware.
JMU now stands 20-17 (4-8 CAA) on the season and is in seventh place in CAA standings. The Dukes’ next game will be on Tuesday at 4 p.m. when they play at Maryland.
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