Terps top Dukes in marathon slugfest

By Michaela Johnson

While most people were asleep, the Terrapins (22-18) were very much awake and scoring runs against the James Madison University Dukes (17-24) in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The Terps beat the Dukes 19-12 in 10 innings over a span of six hours and 31 minutes, including an hour and fifty-eight minute long rain delay in the sixth. This was the second meeting of the season between the two teams, the Dukes looking to even the score after the Terps won the previous matchup 5-2.

The game got off to an exciting start when leadoff batter Madison Nickens homered on the second pitch he saw. The Dukes answered in the next frame with a single run of their own. In the top of the second, the Terrapins put five runs on the board, four coming from a two-out grand slam by Kevin Smith. The Dukes came back with five runs in the bottom of the inning. JMU scored one more in the third, and both teams scored one run in the bottom of the fourth, before the delay.

Lightning in the top of the sixth stopped play for an hour and fifty-eight minutes. When the game restarted at 10:45 p.m. Nick Dunn wasted no time, singling up the middle on the first pitch to score Kevin Smith. Marty Costes walked next, then he and Dunn scored on a double from Nick Cieri to make the score 12-9.

JMU put one run in the board in the seventh, then rallied in the bottom of the ninth with two outs to even the score at 12. Right-hander Andrew Green managed to get the final out without allowing any more runs, taking the game to extra innings.

The top of the tenth was the Terps’ highest scoring inning of the game. JMU’s Christian Bourne was pulled after he walked Dunn, Biondic, and Cieri, but the damage was done, as Morris was hit by a pitch, scoring a run, Jancarski was walked, scoring another run, and Bechtold singled to left to score another. Papio tripled and Smith reached on an error to tack on a couple more runs, and make the score 19-12. The Dukes didn’t have any answer to the Terps’ rally and went down with only a two-out single in the bottom of the tenth, just before 1 a.m.

The Terps went through five pitchers in their six-and-a-half hour long game. Tayler Stiles started and threw only 1.1 innings, giving up five runs, before being pulled in favor of Ryan Selmer. Selmer threw one inning and gave up three runs, followed by Rob Galligan, who faced three batters. Rescigno followed Galligan, and tossed 2.1 before the lightning delay. Andrew Green entered in the bottom of the sixth, and had the longest outing, throwing five innings, allowing three runs on five hits, and striking out seven. Green was credited with the win, making his record 2-0.

The Terps will take on Penn State next in University Park. The first game is at 6:30 on April 29th.

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