HARRISONBURG, Va. – Mike Mancini went 2-for-5 with a homer and two RBI as James Madison scored six runs over the first three innings and defeated the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, 9-4, in the finale of a Sun Belt Conference series on Sunday at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.
Trevon Dabney and Ryan Dooley each homered while Mason Dunaway added a pair of doubles as JMU (23-16, 8-8 SBC) earned a three-game sweep.
Louisiana (26-15, 10-8 SBC) took a 1-0 lead when leadoff hitter Ben Robichaux hit the third pitch of the game off JMU starter Ryan Murphy (4-3) for his third home run of the season
After Louisiana starter Blake McGehee (1-1) retired the Dukes in order in the first, JMU scored four times in the second after Mancini flied out to left to open the inning.
Trevon Dabney tied the game at 1-1 with a solo home run to left before Kyle Novak tripled into the right-field corner and scored on Jason Schiavone’s double down the left-field line. Dooley then chased McGehee with a two-run homer to right to put the Dukes up, 4-1, before reliever Sam Hill got a strikeout and fly ball to end the inning.
JMU added two more runs in the third after Hill retired the first two batters. Mancini homered to left before Dabney scored on a wild pitch to increase JMU’s lead to 6-1.
Louisiana cut into the JMU lead in the sixth inning as John Taylor led off the inning with a home run and Kyle DeBarge drove in Max Marusak with an RBI single to center.
The Dukes answered with three runs in the bottom of the sixth when Dooley singled to right, stole second, moved to third on a throwing error and scored on Wyatt Peifer’s RBI double to right. The Dukes loaded the bases before Mancini hit a two-out single through the right side to plate Peifer and Mason Dunaway.
Conor Higgs added a leadoff home run – his fifth of the season – in the seventh inning for Louisiana. Will Veillon had two hits to lead Louisiana, which finished with seven hits overall and stranded a season-high 13 runners.
Murphy pitched 5.1 innings and scattered four hits and two runs to earn the win for JMU. McGehee dropped his first collegiate decision after going 1.1 innings and allowing four runs on four hits.
Louisiana will open a five-game homestand beginning on Tuesday when it hosts Southern University at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
The Ragin’ Cajuns will host Northwestern State on Wednesday before hosting SBC leader and nationally-ranked Coastal Carolina in a three-game series beginning on Friday.
Single-game tickets are available by visiting the Louisiana Athletics Box Office at the Cajundome or purchasing by visiting Account Manager [am.ticketmaster.com]. For more information call the Louisiana Athletics Box Office at the Cajundome at (337) 265-2104.
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