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Dukes Withstand Bonnies Middle Innings Rally For 9-5 Decision

Credit: Becky Polaski
Credit: Becky Polaski

Box Score (PDF)

HARRISONBURG, Va. – James Madison grabbed four runs in the first, then withstood a Bonnies middle innings rally to take a 9-5 victory over the St. Bonaventure baseball team Saturday afternoon.

Bona could not cash in with a runner at second and one away in the top of the first, then JMU (10-5) immediately seized control. Two singles and a hit batter loaded the bases for Conor Hartigan who drilled a grand slam for an early lead.

The Bonnies got on the board with a run in the fourth following an RBI single off the bat of Tyler Kelder, but the Dukes answered with a run of their own in the home half of the frame for a 5-1 advantage.

St. Bonaventure would even the score in the fifth, however.

After Alex Schutz drew a leadoff walk, Daniel Stauffer doubled to left to bring Schutz all the way home from first. Brandon Henshaw then blasted a three-run homer to left to change the complexion of the game.

James Madison was able to immediately respond, though, scoring what would end up being the game-winning run following a fielding error in the bottom of the fifth.

The hosts would add three runs of insurance in the eighth to pull away late.

David Vaccaro had two hits for the Bonnies.

Reigning Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week Braydon Nelson (1-1) settled down after early trouble ended his scoreless inning streak at 18, longest of any freshman in Division I this spring. Nelson finished by working seven innings, surrendering four earned runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out six.

The two teams wrap up their series Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.