HARRISONBURG, Va. - The William and Mary baseball team scored five unanswered runs to down James Madison, 5-2, Sunday afternoon from Eagle Field at Veteran's Memorial Park. In a venue that hadn't been kind to the College in years past, it was the first-ever sweep of JMU in Harrisonburg by a William and Mary squad. The win improves the Tribe to 15-7 overall and 4-2 in CAA play, while the Dukes fall to 5-14-1 on the year and 0-6 in league action.
At the plate, freshman right fielder Josh Smith went 2-for-3 with two RBIs to lead the W&M attack. Junior second baseman Kevin Nutter tied a career-high with three hits to go along with an RBI in the afternoon affair. Junior shortstop Ryan Williams was 1-for-4 with a home run, while freshman first baseman Michael Katz rounded out the offensive effort, tallying an RBI. As a team, the Tribe pounded out 10 hits against JMU in game three.
In his first action since the season's opening series against Rhode Island, junior RHP Brett Koehler (2-0) notched the victory, working 2.1 innings of relief. The Glen Gardner, N.J., native allowed no runs on just three hits en route to his second win of the season. JMU's starting LHP Sean Tierney (2-3) took the loss in his five innings of action. Starting LHP junior Matt Wainman pitched three innings before being relieved by Koehler. Senior reliever RHP Jay McCarthy and junior RHP John Sheehan combined to pitch 2.2 innings of relief, allowing no runs on just four hits. In the ninth, junior closer RHP John Farrell retired the side and earned his fifth save of the season.
James Madison got on the scoreboard first with a pair of runs in the opening frame. W&M responded with a run of its own in the top half of the second. After JMU recorded the first out, the next three Tribe batters reached base with two walks and a hit by the pitch. With one out and the bases juiced, Smith drove in the Green and Gold's first run of the contest with a sacrifice line-out to left field, which allowed Forsten to tag and score from third.
In the top half of the fifth, the College knotted the afternoon affair at 2-2. As it had done in the second inning, W&M once again loaded the bases. This time, Katz deep fly ball to center field was deep enough to sacrifice Brown home from third.
The College plated a trio of runs in the top half of the sixth to take control of the game. Williams led the frame off with a solo home-run to give the Tribe its first lead of the game at 3-2. After senior Sean Aiken singled to right field, Smith drove him in with a double down the right-field line, which gave the College a 4-2 advantage. The frame's final run came when Nutter put across Smith with a single to center field, and after six innings of play the Tribe commanded a 5-2 margin.
After allowing two runs in the first inning, W&M's pitching staff hunkered down and held the Dukes scoreless for the remainder of the contest. The College's bullpen combined to pitch seven innings of shutout baseball. As a unit, the W&M bullpen surrendered only four hits while fanning four JMU batters. Farrell finished off the win by retiring the Dukes in sequence in the ninth.
Tribe baseball will continue its eight-game road swing on Wednesday, March 21st, as it makes the 47- mile trek down Interstate-64 to face the Norfolk State Spartans. The first pitch from Marty L. Miller field is slated for a 4 p.m. start. Fans can follow the action online at TribeAthletics.com with live stats.