Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly struck out 11 batters in the Dukes' 2-0 win over High Point.

JMU’s junior starting pitcher Kevin Kelly allowed just two hits in eight innings and struck out 11 High Point batters in the Dukes’ 2-0 win on Saturday. Kelly, who earned his third win of the 2019 season, pitched the longest outing of his career and was one strikeout from tying his career high of 12 set back in May 2018 against Hofstra.

"Great team win today against High Point,” head coach Marlin Ikenberry told JMU Athletics. “Kevin pitched incredibly well and it was nice to see him keep his pitch count down early and get on top of the hitters.

JMU was kept relatively quiet through the first five innings, as High Point’s senior pitcher Andrew Gottfried struck out five and allowed three hits through his first 19 batters faced. Knotted at zero through six innings of play, freshman infielder Kyle Novak hit a single up the middle on a 3-0 count to bring home freshman infielder/pitcher Nick Zona to give the Dukes’ a 1-0 edge.

On the very next at-bat, sophomore catcher Michael Morgan tripled to left center to bring Novak home for the game’s final run. Gottfried would be pulled at that point, and wound up moving to 0-2 on his season.

High Point’s bullpen only allowed one hit through the rest of the game, but eight consecutive batters retired through the sixth to eighth innings led to a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts for redshirt sophomore Nick Robertson to close things out for the Dukes — his fourth save of the season.

The Dukes, now 9-4 on the season, are off to another hot start to the season after starting 8-2 in 2017 and 10-5 in 2018. JMU will aim for both a series win and sweep tomorrow as they’ll take on the Panthers in a double header, scheduled for noon and 3 p.m.

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