June 1, 2002
Columbia, S.C. – Despite committing two errors, James Madison compiled five runs off of seven hits and pitcher Dan Meyer only gave up two runs and struck out five as the Dukes of James Madison eliminated the Virginia Commonwealth Rams from NCAA Regional competition today 5-2. With the win, James Madison set a school record for wins in a season with 44.
VCU (38-27) came up with two runs off of seven hits and did not commit and error in the loss that ended their season. Bo Acors (8-4) took the loss after pitching 2 1/3 innings giving up two runs off of four hits and striking out three.
James Madison (44-15) advances in the loser’s bracket of the double elimination tournament to face the loser of the South Carolina-North Carolina game Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. EDT. That South Carolina-North Carolina match-up starts at 3:00 p.m. EDT today in Columbia, S.C.
James Madison struck first, in the bottom of the first inning, with two outs as right fielder Mike Butia came up and hit a double to right field. First baseman Eddie Kim came up next and hit a single to right field, scoring Butia and giving the Dukes the early lead. Alan Lindsey grounded out to first to end the inning.
Butia came up again in the bottom of the third with one out and singled to second base. Butia then advanced to second on a balk by VCU pitcher Bo Acors. At this point, Brian Marshall came in to relieve Bo Acors on the mound. Eddie Kim was next up and singled to center field to score Butia once again. That run would be all the Dukes would get across in that inning as James Madison took a 2-0 lead.
JMU came up swinging again in the bottom of the fourth as Kurt Isenberg went up to the plate with one out and doubled to left center. Matt Deuchler grounded out to short to give the Dukes two outs. Nathan Doyle came up next and hit a shot to center field that cleared the fence and scored two for James Madison.
The Dukes would put one final run on the board in the bottom of the fifth Jason Cushman scored on a sacrifice fly to left field by Pat Cunningham. That gave JMU a 5-0 lead over the Rams of VCU, and would be all the runs that JMU would score in the game.
In the top of the ninth with one out, Eric Latura, pinch hitting for VCU third baseman Jose Pabon, reached base and advanced to second after an error as the JMU left fielder Travis Ebaugh dropped the ball while attempting to make a basket catch. Danny Lopaze flied out to center field, advancing Ebaugh to third and giving the Rams two outs. Nick Jones came up next and hit a shot over the deep center field fence lowering the Rams deficit by three. Luke Tronick came up next and reached by virtue of a base on balls. Jeff Parrish came up next popped up to the first baseman as JMU first baseman Eddie Kim caught the ball in foul territory and gave James Madison the 5-2 victory.
“We didn’t get it done last night but we knew we were going to be in the game today,” said JMU Head Coach Spanky McFarland. “After we scored that run, it was like a breath of fresh air. We loosened up after that and started to play the game. We hit the ball much better today. If we can stay around a little bit longer we can hit a few more.”