From the Diamond Dukes era to 2020, the JMU baseball fields have been graced with top athletes, some of which have gone on to see some form of MLB.
Billy Sample 1973-77
Largely responsible for putting JMU baseball on the map, Billy Sample thrived during his time as a Duke. In three years, he batted .388 and was an All-American in 1976 with a .421 average. He was inducted into the JMU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1988, being one of only eight baseball players. In July 2019, JMU Sports News ranked Sample as one of the 16 greatest JMU athletes ever.
Lorenzo Bundy 1977-81
After four years as a Duke, Lorenzo Bundy ranked among the program’s leaders in several offensive categories. A smart hitter with plenty of power, the first baseman was a captain on the JMU teams that reached NCAA regional play in 1980 and 1981. Bundy played professionally for eight seasons after JMU and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003.
Dana Allison 1986-89
Pitcher Dana Allison is one of the top athletes to step onto the pitcher’s mound for the Dukes. In 1988, he was an All-American and received several other awards in a season where he set program records for complete games and shutouts. Like Eddie Kim, he’s also on the CAA’s Silver Anniversary Team.
Eddie Kim 2000-03
Kim was an All-American and CAA Player of the Year twice. A powerful force in the Dukes’ lineup at the turn of the century, he ranks in the top 10 of several offensive categories and led the 2002 squad to a school-record 44 wins and the NCAA Tournament. According to JMU Sports, he was named to the CAA’s Silver Anniversary Team a top-25 athlete in the league’s first 25 years.
Ryan Reid 2005-06
Ryan Reid is one of the most dominant JMU pitchers in recent memory. He has the best two-year strikeout total in program history and was the ace on a pitching staff that won 38 games and won the CAA in 2006. Reid was also the Dukes’ last player to reach the majors.
Kellen Kulbacki 2005-07
One of the best power hitters in JMU history, Kellen Kulbacki still holds numerous JMU and conference records. He was a first-team All-American twice (2006, 2007) and was the Co-National Player of the Year in 2006. He was selected 40th overall in the 2007 draft by the San Diego Padres, becoming the third-highest drafted Duke in the process.
Kevin Munson 2008-10
For three years, Kevin Munson was one of the best relief pitchers in the CAA. He excelled at keeping runners off base and closing games, and he still holds JMU’s career record for saves with 23. He was named the CAA pitcher of the year and was first time all-CAA his junior season.
Jake Lowery 2009-11
Jake Lowery may be the best catcher in JMU history. After two seasons as a solid player, he elevated to star status his junior year. That season, when he inserted himself into the top 10 of several single-season categories, he won the CAA Player of the Year, was named an All-American and won the Johnny Bench Award — given to the best catcher in the nation.
Kyle McPherson 2015-17
During his three years at JMU, Kyle McPherson was one of the best hitters in the program. The 2015 CAA Rookie of the Year batted over .300 for his career, sprayed the ball all over the field and got on base frequently. He was a preseason all-CAA player his sophomore and junior years, and he parlayed that into a 26th round draft pick by the San Francisco Giants in 2017.
Shelton Perkins 2018-19
Shelton Perkins spent two years as a dominant middle reliever for JMU with a great ability to keep runners off the basepaths and limit home runs. In addition, he had a high strikeout rate that allowed him to get the big out when he needed to. He was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles last year and is currently in their minor league system. In Single-A (Short Season) last year with the Aberdeen Ironbirds, he had 2.04 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 17.2 innings.
Contact Joshua Gingrich at email@example.com. For more baseball coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter at @TheBreezeSports.