HARRISONBURG, Va. - The William and Mary baseball team captured game one of its three-game series with James Madison Friday night, 5-0, from Harrisonburg. Behind senior Matt Davenport's complete game shutout, the College tallied five runs over the last four innings to pull away from the Dukes for the game one victory. The win improves W&M to 13-7 overall and 2-2 in CAA play while JMU falls to 5-12-1 on the season and 0-4 in league action.
Davenport (4-0) was outstanding en route to his fourth victory of the season. The Chesapeake, Va., native went the distance, allowing no runs on two hits, while striking out eight. For the year, it was his third complete game. James Madison's Evan Scott (0-3) took the loss but was impressive, as he allowed just one hit in his 5.1 innings of work.
At the plate, senior Tadd Bower led the Tribe offensively with two runs scored and an RBI. Junior center fielder Ryan Brown was 1-for-3 with an RBI in the affair, while classmate shortstop Ryan Williams went 1-for-4 with an RBI. Rounding out the Tribe's offensive output was junior second baseman Kevin Nutter who recorded a hit and a run scored.
W&M struck first in the pitcher's duel with a trio of runs in the top half of the sixth. Senior left fielder Tadd Bower got the momentum started with a one out walk, then advanced to third on two JMU wild pitches. Katz and senior catcher Chris Forsten then loaded the bases after registering consecutive walks, loading the bases for junior pinch-hitter Jackson Shaver. He attempted a suicide squeeze, but with the pitch so low he wasn't able to connect with the ball and put Bower in a run-down between third and home.
Scrambling to avoid becoming the second out of the inning, Bower's determination was rewarded as the Dukes third-base man threw the ball away behind home plate. The throwing error not only allowed Bower to score from third, but a gutsy Katz scored from second as well. Now up 2-0, Williams put the College ahead 3-0 after driving home Forsten on a single through the left side.
The College added to its advantage with a run in the eighth. Katz hit a deep fly ball to center, sacrificing himself for the chance to bring Bower around again from third. Leading 4-0, W&M tacked on one more insurance run in the top half of the ninth. Nutter led the frame off with a walk, then scored on Brown's double down the right-field line, giving the College a 5-0 stranglehold. With JMU down to its final three outs to try and extend the game, Davenport sat the batters down in sequence for the sixth-straight inning and sealed the victory.
Tribe baseball continues its series with James Madison tomorrow night with the first pitch from Harrisonburg slated for 7 p.m. Fans can follow the action online at TribeAthletics.com with live audio and stats.