Posted April 24, 2013 | comments Leave a comment

JMU roundup: Cavs wallop Dukes in baseball

Daily Staff Reports - sports@nvdaily.com

CHARLOTTESVILLE -- The No. 5 Virginia baseball team used three big innings to score a season-high 16 runs in a 16-8 triumph over James Madison on Wednesday night at Davenport Field. Virginia (37-6) scored five times in the first and eighth innings and four in the fourth as it posted its sixth straight victory.

Every Virginia starter recorded at least one hit, while six posted at least two as UVa matched its season high with 16 hits. Brandon Downes had a monster night, going 3-for-4 with a home run, triple, four runs and three RBIs. Reed Gragnani drove in four runs as part of a 2-for-3 day, while Mike Papi went 2-for-3 with three runs and two RBIs.

Virginia reliever Austin Young claimed the win and improved to 5-0 after allowing an unearned run, two hits and a walk over 2 1/3 innings. Kyle Crockett tossed two scoreless innings to earn his 10th save of the year. UVa starter Trey Oest worked 2 2/3 innings, allowing four earned runs, five hits and two walks while striking out a pair.

Luke Drayer (2-3) took the loss for James Madison (18-22) after giving up four earned runs, three hits and a walk over 3 1/3 innings of relief. Starter Michael Church was bounced in the first inning after giving up five runs (four earned) and six hits while recording just two outs.

Virginia jumped out to an early 5-0 lead by sending 10 batters to the plate in the first inning while knocking Church from the game. Branden Cogswell doubled to left-center on the first pitch and moved to third on a King single. Papi singled to right to score a run, and Downes walked to load the bases. One out later, Nick Howard hit a deep fly to left which was dropped by Chad Carroll for an error, allowing all three runners to score. Gragnani followed with a single to right to plate Howard.

JMU scored two runs in the second inning on back-to-back RBI doubles from Tyler Duke and Bobby San Martin and moved ahead with four runs in the third inning, capped by a long three-run homer to left-center by Conner Brown off reliever Nathan Kirby.

UVa struggled for two innings against Drayer, but went to work in its second trip through the order against him in the fourth inning. With one out Cogswell walked, and he scored after back-to-back singles by King and Papi. Downes then tripled off the right-field wall, scoring both runners to give UVa an 8-6 lead. Derek Fisher then grounded out to second to bring in Downes.

JMU cut the lead to 9-7 in the fifth inning. Chad Carroll and Colby Roberts hit consecutive singles to start the inning. Ty McFarland reached on a fielder's choice, with Carroll advancing to third. Young then entered in relief and picked up a flyout to left from Brown, with Carroll scoring on the sacrifice fly.

Virginia pushed its lead to 11-7 in the sixth. King and Papi drew walks and Downes laid down a bunt single to load the bases with no outs. Fisher grounded weakly in front of the plate, and pitcher J.T. Root flipped home for the force for the first out. Howard then hit a slow roller down the first-baseline and avoided the swipe tag of Root for a single, scoring Papi. Gragnani followed with a sac fly to center to plate Downes.

JMU scored an unearned run in the seventh inning. Roberts drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on a two-out single by Bradley Shaban. Roberts scored on a fielding error by Howard off a sharp grounder by Duke.

The Cavaliers blew the game open with a five-run eighth inning against JMU reliever Trent Cundiff. Downes started the rally with a long home run to left-center field, his team-leading seventh blast of the year. The home run marked the first of five consecutive hits for the Cavaliers. Fisher then singled and Howard followed with a double. Gragnani ripped a single to center to plate both runners and push the lead to lead to 14-8. Nate Irving cranked a single to right and pinch hitter Kenny Towns reached on an error to load the bases. Cundiff uncorked a wild pitch to score Gragnani, and Cogswell grounded out to bring home Irving with the Cavaliers' 16th run.

Men's basketball

HARRISONBURG -- Two forwards will join the James Madison men's basketball program for the 2013-14 season as part of the spring signing class announced by head coach Matt Brady on Wednesday.

The newcomers include 6-8 forward Ivan Lukic of Serbia and 6-8 forward Tom Vodanovich of New Zealand. They join the fall class of 6-7 guard Jackson Kent of High Point, N.C., 6-7 forward Tom Rivard of Worcester, Mass. and 6-8 forward Paulius Satkus of Lithuania.

Lukic is a native of Loznica, Serbia and becomes the second Serbian native on JMU's roster, joining 6-10 forward Dimitrije Cabarkapa, who will be a redshirt freshman for the 2013-14 campaign. Lukic graduated in 2012 from Diego Velazquez, a school in Spain, and played for the club squad Espacio Torrelodones under head coach Darko Rajakovic, who has since earned the coaching job with the Tulsa 66ers in the NBA D-League. Lukic competed briefly in the United States for ABCD Academy in Iowa, where he averaged 22.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.

Brady commented on Lukic, saying, "Ivan is a 6-8, small forward, wing shooter with a great love for the game and a great zest to improve. He's a thinner version of Dimitrije and more of a perimeter player. He's a guy who loves his opportunity to be here at JMU."

Vodanovich is a native of Wellington, New Zealand and plans to study business at JMU. He played for head coach Marcus Gatara at Saint Patrick's College and won the Wellington Regional Championship in 2012. He also averaged 10 points and seven rebounds for his club team, the Junior Tall Blacks, in 2012. His U19 Wellington club squad won the 2011 national title, which he also achieved in 2010 with his U17 club. Vodanovich has some experience in the United States with an event in Los Angeles as well as a short time competing for SPIRE Academy in Ohio, where he averaged 18.5 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks.

Brady added, "Tom adds a level of toughness that we don't yet have. He's a physically tough guy with a terrific basketball IQ. He's got a really interesting blend of toughness, physical basketball, baskeball IQ and passing and scoring skills. He's another guy who, when he visited our campus, fell in love with the JMU opportunity."

JMU went 21-15 during the 2012-13 season and captured the program's first Colonial Athletic Association Championship since 1994 to earn a bid to the NCAA Championship. The Dukes earned a No. 16 seed and knocked off LIU Brooklyn in the First Four for the program's first NCAA win since 1983. On Tuesday, JMU signed Matt Brady to a four-year contract extension through the 2016-17 season.

Women's basketball

NORFOLK -- James Madison women's basketball players Tarik Hislop and Kirby Burkholder have been named to the All-State First Team.

The team was selected by members of the Virginia Sports Information Directors Association (VaSID).

Hislop, a senior guard, led the Dukes in points (16.4) and assists (3.5) and tied for second on the team in steals (1.2). Earlier she was named to the Richmond Times-Dispatch All-State First Team and the All-Colonial Athletic Association First Team. She finished her career ranked third on JMU's all-time points list with 1,847, eighth in assists with 391, and third in double-figure scoring games with 102. Hislop also set school career records for games played (140) and started (115).

Burkholder, a junior guard, earlier joined Hislop on the All-CAA First Team and was also voted to the Times-Dispatch All-State Second Team. She led the Dukes in rebounds (9.1), steals (1.6) and 3-pointers (2.5) and was second in points (15.0) and assists (1.7).

Liberty redshirt senior guard Devon Brown was named the state Player of the Year, while Flames' head coach Carey Green was selected the Coach of the Year. Longwood freshman guard Daeisha Brown was tabbed as the Rookie of the Year.

Devon Brown, from Waynesboro, averaged 16.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. She was the Times-Dispatch State Player of the Year, Big South Tournament Most Valuable Player and First Team All-Big South selection for the fourth time.

Green led Liberty to a 27-7 overall record and an NCAA Tournament berth after claiming the Big South Championship for the 12th time in his 14 years at Liberty. The Flames went 8-0 against Virginia opponents.

Daeisha Brown, from Richmond, led all Big South freshmen in scoring at 12.2 points per game.

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