RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Commonwealth University scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the first but James Madison University held the Rams scoreless over the final eight frames and defeated VCU, 7-2, Saturday afternoon at The Diamond in the regular season finale for both squads.
VCU (31-23-1, 16-7-1 CAA) will enter next week's Colonial Athletic Association Tournament as the No. 3 seed and will face Georgia State in the opening round, while James Madison (29-21, 18-6 CAA) secured the regular season title and top seed.
James Madison jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after its first trip to the plate. Trevor Knight doubled down the left field line and Brett Garner drew a walk before Matt Browning put the Dukes on the board with a double into right.
VCU rallied in the bottom of the first to tie the game after Mikionis and Lenherr both drove in runs with two outs.
However, it was the last time the Rams would score as James Madison starter Jason Kuhn, who allowed two runs on four hits in five innings, and reliever Kevin Munson shutout the Black & Gold the rest of the way. Munson tossed the final four frames and recorded his 10th save of the season, while Kuhn improved to 3-3 on the year after picking up the win.
James Madison regained the lead in the top of the fourth when Matt Townsend drove in a run with an unusual double. He rolled a ball down the first base line, which bounced off the bag and scooted past the Dukes' dugout and David Herbek came around to score. The Dukes added another run in the fifth on a RBI single from Knight.
The Rams remained in striking distance until a three-run ninth inning, which saw the first four batters reach base, sealed the win for James Madison.