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Home Runs Lift James Madison Past Liberty, 8-3
Despite out-hitting the Dukes, 14-10, Liberty falls to 12-7 on the season, while James Madison improves to 4-12.
James Madison jumped out to a 2-0 advantage in the second inning. First baseman Steven Caseres opened the frame by knocking his first collegiate home run over the center field fence for the first run of the game. The next batter, Brett Garner, doubled and advanced to third on a ground out. The Dukes' catcher then scored the second run of the inning on a ground out by Mitchell Moses.
In the fourth, James Madison added to its lead. With two outs, Moses hit his first round tripper of the season, a two-run shot to right, to make it, 4-0, Dukes.
Despite out-hitting James Madison, 7-4, through the first five frames, Liberty did not get on the scoreboard until the sixth inning. Aaron Grijalva (R-Jr., DH, Redlands, Calif.) led off the frame with a single and advanced to third on a double to left by Tim Nanry (Sr., LF, Rochester, N.Y.). After a fly out, Grijalva plated the Flames' first run of the afternoon on a ground out to third by Derek Bennion (Sr., CF, Snohomish, Wash.).
The Dukes reclaimed their four-run advantage in the bottom of the inning. Garner hit a solo home run over the right-center field fence, his first of the season. The round tripper put James Madison up, 5-1.
Liberty capitalized on two Dukes' miscues in the seventh to cut the James Madison lead to 5-3. Tommy Bussey (So., 2B, Boynton Beach, Fla.) reached on a fielding error by the third baseman to open the inning and moved to second on a one-out single by Phil John (Sr., RF, Linwood, N.J.). David Giammaresi (R-Jr., 3B, Coral Springs, Fla.) then hit into an apparent inning-ending double play, but the second baseman threw away the relay throw, allowing Bussey to score. The runner then advanced to second on a single by Grijalva. Nanry then delivered Giammaresi with a RBI single.
In the eighth inning, the Dukes added three insurance runs on a three-run home run. With runners on first and second base and one out, Alex Foltz connected on his first round tripper of the year to put James Madison up by the final score of 8-3.
Starter Andrew Wilson (So., RHP, Cary, N.C.), one of five Liberty pitchers on the day, falls to 0-1, after allowing four runs on four hits, while walking two in 4 1/3 innings. Justin Wood, the first of four Dukes' hurlers in the contest, picked up the win to run his record to 1-2 on the year. He gave up one run on nine hits and struck out three in 5 1/3 innings. Bobby Lasko pitched the final 1 2/3 innings to record his first save of the season.
Bussey, Grijalva and John had three hits apiece for Liberty. Caseres and Garner had two hits and a home run each for James Madison.
The Flames open Big South Conference play Friday by hosting the UNC Asheville Bulldogs in a three-game weekend series at Worthington Stadium. Game time for Friday's series opener is scheduled for 3 p.m.