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Flames Fall at James Madison

February 24, 2009  Harrisonburg, Va.  RSS
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With a RBI single, outfielder Jeff Jefferson has a hit in all five Liberty contests this season.

With a RBI single, outfielder Jeff Jefferson has a hit in all five Liberty contests this season.

The James Madison Dukes halted Liberty's three-game win streak, with an 11-2 victory over the Flames, Tuesday at Long Field/Mauck Stadium.

Liberty drops to 3-2 on young season. James Madison improves to 2-3. The meeting was the first of three contests between the two squads this season.

Liberty and James Madison each pushed runs across in their first at bat of the contest. In the top of the first inning, Flames shortstop Matt Williams (Fr., Franklin, Tenn.) led off the game with a single and advanced to third base on a single by center fielder Curran Redal (Jr., Moses Lake, Wash.). Two batters later, designated hitter Cody Brown (Sr., Cumming, Ga.) lined a single to left field, plating Williams. In the bottom of the frame, the host Dukes countered with two runs. After a leadoff walk to center fielder Alex Foltz, shortstop David Herbek followed with a run-scoring single. Later in the home half of the first, right fielder Matt Browning lined a RBI single through the right side of the infield for a 2-1 James Madison advantage.

The Dukes extended their lead to 3-1 with a run in the second inning. Third baseman Kent Burford opened the frame with a single. After stealing second base and moving to third base on ground out, Burford scored on a Foltz ground out.

In the third inning, Liberty plated a run to cut their host's lead to 3-2. Second baseman P.J. Jimenez (Jr., Yucaipa, Calif.) reached when James Madison's Browning dropped his fly ball to right field. Jimenez moved to second base on a ground out and was cashed in two batters later by left fielder Jeff Jefferson.

The Dukes upped their edge in the bottom of the fourth frame. Left fielder Matt Townsend led off the frame with his second home run of the season, extend James Madison's advantage to 4-2.

In the sixth, the Dukes stretched their lead with two more runs. Townsend began the inning with a single and stole second. After a sacrifice bunt with one out moved Townsend to third base, both James Madison second baseman Mike Fabiaschi and Foltz were hit by pitches to load the bases. Herbek followed with a bloop two-run single to left field for a 6-2 Duke lead.

James Madison added an unearned run in the seventh inning on a RBI single by catcher Chris Johnson.

The Flames threatened in the top of the eighth frame, loading the bases with two out. Catcher Errol Hollinger (Upland, Calif.) was hit by a pitch and advanced to third base, as first baseman Trey Wimmer (Greenwood, S.C.) lined a double down the right-field line. Tyler Bream (Fr., Zelienople, Pa.) was then hit by a pitch to fill the bases with Liberty runners. However, Duke reliever James Weiner was able to retire the next batter to keep the Flames from scoring.

In the bottom of the inning, James Madison tallied four more runs for the final score of 11-2.

Liberty starter Joe Steinwedell (Encinitas, Calif.) takes the loss. The right-hander, the first of six Flames pitchers in the contest, gave up four runs on five hits over three innings.

James Madison starter David Edwards picks up the win, allowing two runs on five hits over six innings. Weiner recorded his first save of the year, pitching the last three frames for the Dukes.

Herbek paced James Madison with three hits in the contest, while teammates Townsend and Fabiaschi had two hits apiece.

Liberty travels tomorrow to Chapel Hill, N.C., for a meeting with the No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.