Sophomore infielder/outfielder Fenwick Trimble slides into home during JMU's 19-5 win over VCU on Wednesday. Trimble recorded two RBIs in JMU's second game of the day against USC Upstate on Saturday, but the Dukes lost, 9-6.

The Diamond Dukes moved to 9-7 on the season after splitting their doubleheader against USC Upstate on Saturday, losing the series. The Dukes topped the Spartans 2-1 in the first game but dropped the second, 9-6.

Murphy almost goes the distance in JMU’s game one win

JMU junior right-hander Ryan Murphy pitched eight innings in the first game of the day. Murphy faced 29 batters and allowed four hits, one run, two walks and struck out seven. Murphy was pulled for fellow junior right-hander Joe Vogatsky, who earned the save.

The Spartans scored first. Junior second baseman Easton Cullison singled in the second inning, bringing redshirt junior right fielder Grant Sherrod home for their only run of the early window. 

JMU followed this with two of its own — a single from redshirt senior first baseman Kyle Novak brought around sophomore catcher Jason Schiavone. On the next at-bat, a sacrifice bunt from redshirt senior left fielder Trevon Dabney brought in graduate center fielder Jack Cone. 

Eighth inning spurt boosts Upstate to series win

In game two, a four-run eighth inning by the Spartans gave them a three-run lead that the Dukes couldn’t overcome in the ninth. JMU redshirt junior Hunter Entsminger was credited with the loss after allowing the four-run inning.

JMU opened the scoring with a single to right field from freshman second baseman Mike Mancini, which scored graduate outfielder Jaylon Lee. Upstate quickly followed with a three-run home run from redshirt sophomore left fielder Ty Tilson. Then, sophomore utility Noah Sullivan grounded out to third, which brought in sophomore catcher Jace Rinehart, giving the Spartans a 4-1 lead. 

The Spartans built on this lead with an RBI single from Rinehart, which scored Sherrod, extending their cushion to 5-1.

JMU followed this with a five-run stretch of its own. Sophomore shortstop Coleman Calabrese singled to score redshirt junior third baseman Jacob Steinberg, making the score 5-2 after four innings.

Novak hit a single to score sophomore right fielder Fenwick Trimble. Steinberg then hit a single to score Novak. The next inning, Trimble hit a single to score Mancini and Calabrese, giving the Dukes the lead again at 6-5 after six innings.

Upstate scored four runs in the eighth to put the game out of reach — first a single from redshirt junior shortstop Troy Hamilton, which scored redshirt junior left fielder Noah Rabon. Then Sullivan was walked with the bases loaded, scoring sophomore pinch runner Kyle Henington. Sophomore designated hitter Johnny Sweeney hit a sacrifice fly to bring around sophomore third baseman Cory Caruso before Sherrod hit a single to score Hamilton.

JMU goes on the road for midweek matchups with VCU and VMI on Tuesday at 3 p.m. and Wednesday at 5 p.m., respectively. USC Upstate continues its seven-game homestand against The Citadel on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

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