A walk-off single in extra innings by senior infielder Bradley McKay led JMU baseball to a weekend sweep over William & Mary. The Dukes won the game 4-3, improving to 19-16 on the season and 5-7 in CAA play.
Both teams went scoreless through three innings, looking like it could be a long morning for them both. However, senior outfielder Adam Sisk got the Dukes on the board when he knocked a homer far past left field in the bottom of the fourth. Gaining momentum, sophomore first baseman/catcher Harry Brown hit a single, and moved to second after freshman catcher/utility Michael Morgan was hit by a pitch. Brown was brought home by a single from senior catcher/outfielder Ryan Coale to put the Dukes up by two after four innings.
“It’s always good to be the catalyst, the jumpstarter,” Sisk said. “Anyone in our lineup can do it, it did feel good to start the momentum on our side, and we were just trying to keep it rolling throughout the game.”
In the top of the fifth, William & Mary’s senior outfielder Ryan Hall hit a two-run home run to tie the game. That was just the beginning of the back-and-forth battle on the scoreboard that happened throughout the rest of the game.
The Dukes threatened to get the lead back in the bottom of the fifth and bottom of the sixth with two runners on both times. However, they fell just short on both attempts to bring runners home.
“We trust our abilities as ball players,” Sisk said. “You’re not going to get a hit every single time or score a run every inning, you just gotta stay up and keep doing the things we do well. We work on them hard in practice and they will pay off eventually and they did today.”
In the top of the seventh, a balk and sacrifice bunt placed senior outfielder Craig McLane on third for the Tribe — who later scored off a passed ball strikeout. The Tribe took its first lead of the game, but was quickly matched by the Dukes in the bottom of the inning.
Sophomore outfielder DaVonn Griffin led off the bottom of the seventh with a double to centerfield and was moved to third by a ground ball hit by Semones. Griffin then scored home by a double from Sisk, tying the game once again in the bottom of the seventh.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Dukes threatened once again as Coale singled for the third time of the game tying his career high of hits in a game. Coale made it to third after a double by senior catcher Zach Tondi. However, this late push wasn’t enough to break the tie between these two teams.
“Our guys continue to battle and compete and maintain their composure and poise,” head coach Marlin Ikenberry said. “The main thing was just our bullpen again, Perkins and Goggin did a great job at the back end of the ball game for us.”
Extra innings were necessary after both teams went scoreless through the ninth. When the Tribe didn’t score in the top of the 10th, the Dukes looked to put the game away. Coale set his career high of hits in a game, with a ground-rule double. With Coale in scoring position, McKay stepped up to the plate and hit a walk-off single. The Dukes won 4-3 and swept their weekend series over William & Mary.
“We’re capable of doing anything we set our minds to,” Coale said. “We know we’re good we just need to go out there and execute.”
The Dukes will be back in action — going after their fifth straight win — on Tuesday at Longwood University. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
Contact Mandy Bartholomew at email@example.com. For more baseball coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.