Nick Stewart

Nick Stewart won his first game of the season in Game 1 of Sunday's doubleheader.

JMU baseball split its doubleheader on Sunday against the High Point Panthers, winning 11-0 in Game 1 and losing Game 2 8-6. After winning Saturday's contest 2-0, the Dukes walk away with a series win and improve to 10-5 on the season.

Sophomore pitcher Nick Stewart took the mound for the Dukes in the first game for JMU and was hot from the start, striking out two batters in the top of the first inning. The Ashburn, VA, native faced 20 batters and threw four strikeouts while allowing only one walk. Stewart pitched five innings and earned the win, his first of the season.

Like Stewart, the Dukes’ offense also performed well early, scoring in the first inning off an RBI single from freshman infielder Carson Bell to put JMU up 1-0. The Dukes also earned runs in the fourth and seventh innings from freshman infielder Nick Zona and junior first baseman Harry Brown, respectively.

JMU had a 3-0 lead over High Point before exploding in the eighth inning, when a three-run RBI double from freshman infielder Kyle Novak opened the floodgates. Junior infielder Brady Harju and freshman catcher Travis Reifsnider also singled to give the Dukes a comfortable eight-run lead. The eighth was capped off by a booming three-run home run into left field from junior outfielder DaVonn Griffin. Freshman pitcher Lliam Grubbs came in to close Game 1, striking out two and cementing the win for JMU.

Senior pitcher Joe Williams took the mound for Game 2 and began with a rocky start. He threw four strikeouts, but gave up eight hits and five runs in 4.1 innings-pitched. To aid Williams the Dukes’ offense scored fast, with five runs in the second inning alone.

Tied at five entering the fifth, senior pitcher Dan Goggin replaced Williams but with little effect. He gave up four hits and three runs, and wouldn’t see extra time on the mound beyond his first outing. Goggin was eventually handed the loss, his first of the year.

In the end, the Dukes scored one more run off an RBI triple by freshman outfielder Dom Cepullio but couldn’t rebound offensively to take back the lead back, falling to High Point 8-6. JMU will play its next game at home versus Lehigh at 4 p.m. on Tuesday at Eagle Field.

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