CHARLOTTESVILLE – The No. 5 Virginia Cavaliers recorded their 11th consecutive win as they downed James Madison 7-3 Wednesday before 2,417 fans at Davenport Field. Virginia improves to 17-1 this season, while the Dukes fall to 13-4.
John Hicks (Jr., Sandy Hook, Va.) led Virginia by going 3-4 with two HRs, becoming the first Cavalier with a multi homerun game since Jarrett Parker had two last season at Duke (May 1, 2010). Hicks also had four RBI.
The Cavaliers took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs, Hicks hit a solo homerun to right, his first homer of the season. Danny Hultzen (Jr., Bethesda, Md.) followed with a walk and came around to score on Kenny Swab’s (Sr., Kernersville, N.C.) RBI single to center.
Virginia extended the lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the third inning. John Barr (Sr., Ivyland, Pa.) led off the inning with a walk and Hicks followed with a two-run homer to left, his second homer of the game and of the season. With two outs, the Cavaliers put together a rally to add another run. Swab singled and David Coleman (Sr., Richmond, Va.) reached on a hit by pitch. Reed Gragnani (So., Richmond, Va.) drove in Swab with an RBI single to make the score 5-0.
James Madison cut the lead to 5-2 in the top of the fourth. David Herbek’s two-run homer to left scored the Dukes’ first runs of the game.
Steven Proscia (Jr., Suffern, N.Y.) hit a solo homerun in the bottom of the fifth that extended the Cavaliers’ lead to 6-2. It was Proscia’s second homer of the season and the third homer of the game for the Cavaliers, who totaled just one over the first 17 games of the season.
The Dukes scored one run in the top of the sixth to pull within three. Jake Lowery tripled and later scored on an error on an attempted pickoff play. Virginia answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning on Hicks’ RBI single, making the score 7-3.
Will Roberts (Jr., Richmond, Va.) got the win for the Cavaliers, improving to 3-0 this season. Roberts pitched 5.2 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and striking out seven. Branden Kline (So., Frederick, Md.) recorded the final three outs for Virginia to notch his eighth save of the season. Tyler McFarland (0-1) took the loss for JMU, allowing four earned runs on five hits in two-plus innings.
Proscia and Swab each went 2-for-4 for the Cavaliers, while Chris Taylor (So., Virginia Beach, Va.) went 2-for-5.
Herbek led the Dukes offensively, going 2-for-2 with two walks.
Virginia continues its 10-game homestand this weekend as it host No. 4 Florida State. Game time is 6 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.