It was the closest game to perfection for the Dolphins in 2010 as junior Matt Tomshaw went 6.2 strong innings, the offense pounded out 13 runs on 15 hits and the defense went errorless for the first time as the JU baseball team defeated James Madison, 13-5, Sunday afternoon at John Sessions Stadium.
JU (6-4) ran its unanswered score count to 25 runs by tallying two in the second before exploding for 10 in the fourth.
JMU (3-4) had won the last two-games between the two programs in 2002 but suffered its first loss to the Dolphins since a four-game sweep at the hands of JU in 1981.
“We are starting to get some consistency and that is definitely something we are going to need this week,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “This is the beginning of a long stretch for us and it continues with Florida State tomorrow. I like how we are playing right now and I hope we continue this momentum against some very tough opponents.”
Junior Matt Tomshaw (2-1) won his second straight decision after allowing two runs on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts.
Alex Valadja (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing nine runs (seven earned) on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts in three innings.
Sophomore designated hitter Kevin Lehane went 2-for-4 with his second home run in as many days and four RBI. Senior shortstop Derek Abis finished 2-for-4 with three RBI while senior first baseman Alex Martinez (double) and sophomore third baseman Jimmy Howick also finished with multiple hits.
Jake Lowery led the Dukes by going 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI while Matt Townsend, Matt Browning and McKinnon Langston each finished with multiple hits.
JU jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Lehane hit an RBI single and junior catcher Alex Swenson drove in a run with a double.
Martinez led off the inning with a double to left center and then came home when Lehane hit a bouncer back up the middle. With one out, Swenson pulled a ball down the third-base line to score Lehane from first.
The Dolphins broke things open in the bottom of the fourth (12-0) by scoring 10 runs on seven hits while taking advantage of two Dukes fielding errors to lead off the inning.
During the 14 batter melee, JU would get a bunt single to first by Howick, a two-run single to center by Abis, an RBI single through the left side by junior left fielder Chris Connelly, a two-run double to right center by freshman center fielder Dan Gulbransen, a three-run homer to left by Lehane and an RBI single to center by Abis.
The Dukes made it 12-2 in the top of the fifth when Townsend hit an RBI double down the left-field line and Browning hit an RBI single back up the middle.
The Dolphins added another run in the bottom of the eighth when freshman pinch hitter Adam Brett Walker hit an RBI single. Freshman catcher Matthew Gaine led off the inning with a double to right center and then stole third. Walker followed with a bouncer back up the middle to end the JU scoring.
JU will continue its homestand as the Dolphins host No. 3 Florida State on Monday at 6 p.m. The contest can be followed on ASun.TV on JUDolphins.com and will be the first radio broadcast of the season on 1010XL with Barry Milligan calling the action and J.P. Shadrick providing color commentary.