Baseball Can't Catch JMU
Feb. 19, 2002
HARRISONBURG, Va. (2/19/02) -- A day after the nation celebrated Presidents' Day, two colleges with presidential namesakes did battle on the baseball diamond.
James Madison opened its 2002 home schedule by rapping out a season-high 18 hits against the George Washington Colonials this afternoon at Long Field/Mauck Stadium. At the end of the day, a tough JMU team beat GW 17-6.
After coming off a loss on Sunday when the Dukes left 14 runners stranded in a 10-6 loss to Maryland in the Charleston (S.C.) Crab House Shootout, JMU found the right prescription against GW, a balanced attack.
"The difference in Charleston was that we had 11 strikeouts and we were really pulling off the ball bad," said JMU coach Spanky McFarland, who was displeased with the Dukes' approach at the plate in the last outing. "We spent yesterday and today in batting practice working on going the other way. If you're going to make outs, you should make good outs. We made three or four outs today that were good outs, sac flies, moving runners. So we're really focusing on not wasting our outs. Every at bat try to make something good happen."
The Dukes (3-2) got off to a fast start, making it difficult for the Colonials to catch up. JMU scored six runs in the second inning and put up five more in the fourth for a 12-2 lead. In both the fifth and sixth innings GW put together a counter-attack, scoring 2 runs each, but it was not enough.
JMU junior left-hander Jared Doyle (Wilmington, N.C./Laney) made his first start of the season and worked five innings to get the win and pull his record even to 1-1. The 2001 All-CAA reliever yielded four runs on eight hits, walked two and struck out seven, which was okay in McFarland's book.
"He's not all the way back yet. He took some time off in the fall and the winter resting his arm after that big summer he had (Coastal Plain League, MVP). He's not quite sharp yet, and he will get better. The main thing is that he attacked people. He had two walks, but he went right at people and that's important. His velocity is probably not where it will be in a couple of weeks, but we'll just keep running him out there until he gets in good game shape."
The Dukes' offense allowed McFarland to make good on his pre-game desire to work four other members of the pitching staff. Juniors Jake Gaiser (Herndon, Va./Oakton), Rick McKernan (Newport News, Va./Woodside), Mike Trussell (Newport News, Va./Menchville) and senior Brandon Cornwell (Nokesville, Va./Brentsville) all worked one inning.
"If it would have been a closer game, we would have played it more situational. But that's exactly how I wrote it down and we were able to do that. I wanted to keep those relief pitchers sharp since we only have one game this week. It worked out pretty well."
Senior right fielder Mike Bassett (Paramus, N.J./Paramus) led GWU (2-3) with a 3-for-5 performance and one run scored. Freshman catcher Joe Michalski (Ellicott City, Md./Mt. Hebron) had a pair of doubles and an RBI.
The Colonials next travel to New Orleans, LA to play Tulane on Friday, February 22 at 6:30pm.