HARRISONBURG, Va. - The William and Mary baseball team defeated James Madison, 3-1, in dramatic fashion Saturday night for its first series win in Harrisonburg since 2005. With the contest tied at 1-1 in the eighth, senior left fielder Tadd Bower delivered a two-run home run that propelled the Green and Gold to victory. The win improves W&M to 14-7 on the season and 3-2 in CAA play, while JMU drops to 5-13-1 overall and 0-5 in league action.
Bower's 1-for-4 outing led the Tribe offensively, while junior center fielder Ryan Brown was also solid as he went 1-for-3 with a run scored. Freshman Josh Smith tallied an RBI, while classmate Michael Katz was 1-for-4 with a run scored. In the first six innings of play the College managed only one hit and no runs, but over the last four innings of action W&M scored three runs while pounding out five hits.
Senior RHP Jay McCarthy (3-1) earned the victory as he pitched 3.1 innings of relief, allowing no hits and no runs. Starting senior LHP (1-2) Cole Shain was solid in his 4.2 innings of work as he allowed just one run on four hits. JMU's starter RHP Patrick Toohers (0-0) was impressive in the no decision, as he held the Tribe to no runs on just one hit in six innings of work. Senior closer RHP John Farrell notched his fourth save of the season, as the Andover, Mass., native pitched a perfect ninth.
After being held scoreless for the first 13 innings of the series, James Madison got on the board first Saturday evening with a run in the bottom of the fifth. The Dukes went ahead 1-0 when left fielder Colby Roberts drove in right fielder Ian Hayes on a fielder's choice to W&M junior shortstop Ryan Williams.
At the start of the seventh, the Tribe got a fresh start when JMU reliever RHP Michael Howerton entered the contest. Now with Toohers out of the picture, the W&M bats finally came alive to tie the contest up at 1-1. Katz led the top half of the seventh off with a double to center, and reached third after Williams singled on a bunt to the Dukes' third-base man. With one out, JMU intentionally walked senior designated hitter Stephen Arcure to load the bases. Smith then grounded out to second, but scored Katz in the process to knot the score 1-1.
The College went ahead for good after plating a pair of runs in the eighth. Brown led the inning off with a single. After JMU recorded the frame's first out, Bower put the College in front 3-1 after he belted a 3-2 offering from Howerton over the left field wall. In the ninth, Farrell retired the Dukes' in-order to preserve the 3-1 triumph. Over the final four innings of the game, the Tribe bullpen faced the minimum number of batters in locking down the home team and preserving the win.
The Tribe returns to action tomorrow afternoon as it looks to keep pace in the still-young conference race with the third and final game of the weekend. Sunday's game three is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Fans can follow all of the action online at TribeAthletics.com with live stats.