JMU baseball

JMU baseball looks to get back on track against Delaware on Saturday.

JMU baseball fell to the Delaware Blue Hens 5-3 at Eagle Field on Friday. The Dukes fought back in the eighth inning but couldn’t rally after leaving the bases loaded twice.

Junior pitcher Kevin Kelly (4-2) took to the mound for the Dukes and started strong. The Hens went 1-2-3 to start the game, while JMU freshman infielder Trevon Dabney launched a leadoff homer, his third of the season, over the wall in left field to give JMU an early 1-0 lead.

Delaware wasted no time tying the game as junior first baseman Joseph Carpenter got on base with a leadoff double. Sophomore designated hitter Zack Miller hit an RBI double into right field to tie the game 1-1. The Hens’ offensive showcase continued into the third inning when junior shortstop Vinny Vaccone had a two-RBI double into right-center field to give Delaware a 3-1 lead.

The Dukes’ offense did show signs of life throughout the game, racking up eight hits, but they struggled to bring runners home. The fourth inning saw JMU junior infielder Matt Dipasupil strikeout looking, while freshman shortstop Nick Zona did the same in the eighth. The Dukes fell just short in both innings to bring in that clutch hit to reclaim the lead.

Following a run for Delaware off a wild pitch from junior pitcher Shelton Perkins in the seventh, the Dukes came into the eighth inning with hot bats. In a bases-loaded situation, junior center fielder DaVonn Griffin took the plate for JMU and hit an RBI single to bring in junior infielder Brady Harju and freshman outfielder David Willis.

The Dukes only needed one run to tie the game but fell short, leaving the bases loaded for the second time in the game. Following another Delaware run in the top of the ninth, the Dukes fell for the third time in their last four games with the 5-3 loss.

JMU stands at 15-8 (0-1 CAA) on the season, with its next game coming on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Contact Jordan Simal at simaljg@dukes.jmu.edu. For more baseball coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.