GREENVILLE, N.C. – James Madison scored three runs with two outs in the second on its way to a 5-2 win over East Carolina Saturday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the win, the Dukes even the series at one-game each with the final game scheduled to be played Sunday at 1 p.m. (EST).
Trailing 2-1 in the second with a runner on second and two outs, JMU (1-1) recorded four-straight base hits to take a 4-2 lead, which they would never relinquish. Chad Carroll singled up the middle scoring Kyle Weston from second, before Conner Brown and Matt Tenagila followed with base knocks to right field pushing Brown across. Kevin Husum plated the final run of the stanza with an infield single to short scoring Tenaglia.
Chris Huffman (1-0) picked up the win allowing two runs (one earned) on eight hits with seven strikeouts in five full innings of work. From there, the Dukes used three arms out of the bullpen each allowing only one hit in an inning-plus of work. Taylor Krugh (1.0 IP) allowed a walk, Ben Garner (1.1 IP) issued two free passes with a punch-out, while Trent Cundiff picked up his first save of the season tossing 1.2 scoreless frames.
ECU redshirt-sophomore David Lucroy (0-1) was saddled with the loss surrendering four runs (all earned) on six hits with a pair of walks and strikeouts in just two innings. Senior Brett Mabry was stellar out of the bullpen allowing an unearned run on three hits in five frames with four strikeouts. True freshman Jacob Wolfe made his collegiate debut recording an out and walking a batter before turning the game over to JuCO transfer Reid Love for the final 1.2 innings. Love, who is expected to get the start against Campbell on Tuesday, Feb. 18, retired all four batters he faced recording five outs.
For the second-straight day JMU jumped out to an early lead scoring in the top of the first for a 1-0 advantage. Ty McFarland, who led off the season with a solo home run in first inning on Friday, singled up the middle, took second on Carroll’s walk and moved to third on a passed ball with two outs. After Husum drew a walk to load the bases, Tyler Gregory was hit by a Lucroy pitch allowing McFarland to score.
ECU bounced back in the bottom half of the frame pushing across a pair of runs for a 2-1 lead. Dylan Brown walked to start the frame, which was followed by a single to left by Drew Reynolds. Brown moved over to third on Zach Houchins double-play ball to second and came home to score on Ian Townsend’s single to left center. Luke Lowery followed with a single up the middle and both runners advanced on a passed ball and Townsend crossed home on a Huffman wild pitch capping the Pirates scoring on the afternoon.
The Pirates, who held an 11-9 advantage in the hitting category, had opportunities to scratch a run or two across in the contest, but hit into inning-ending double plays in the second and sixth stanzas.
In the third, Reynolds and Houchins stroked back-to-back singles and Ben Fultz loaded the bases with two outs on a walk, but Huffman got true freshman Bryce Harman swinging to end the threat. In all, ECU left 11 runners on base and grounded into three double plays.
JMU scored its fifth and final run in the fifth frame thanks to a pair of Pirate errors at first base. The Dukes plated four of their five runs with two outs, all coming in the first two frames.
Reynolds, Houchins and Townsend each collected two hits on the afternoon, while Lowery, Watkins, Harman and Kirk Morgan recorded base knocks – the latter posting their first collegiate hits.