JMU roundup: Four Dukes earn All-CAA baseball honors

Daily Staff Reports – sports@nvdaily.com

WILMINGTON, N.C. – Seniors Matt Tenaglia, Ty McFarland and Tyler Gregory each collected First Team All-CAA recognition while senior captain Trent Cundiff added All-Academic accolades to represent James Madison at the Colonial Athletic Association baseball awards banquet held at UNCW’s Burney Center on Tuesday evening.

JMU’s three First Team honorees were second most in the league. William and Mary led the way with five, including CAA Player of the Year Michael Katz. Pitcher of the Year went to UNCW senior Mat Batts, JMU’s possible opposing starter in the tournament opener. Fellow First Team honoree Bailey Ober of the College of Charleston was selected as Rookie of the Year. Shortstop Matt Ford of Hofstra was named Defensive Player of the Year while W&M skipper Brian Murphy was named CAA Coach of the Year.

Tenaglia, a first baseman in his fifth year, enjoyed an 8-for-17 showing with two home runs in the final week of the season to finish as JMU’s leader in batting average (.320, 13th in CAA), on-base percentage (.426, sixth in CAA) and slugging percentage (.514, seventh in CAA). He also led the Dukes and ranked fifth in the league with 38 RBIs, ranked eighth with six home runs and ranked eighth with 90 total bases. Overall, Tenaglia amassed 32 runs, 12 doubles, two triples, six home runs, 56 total hits and 27 walks in his final season. The First Team honor is the first career All-CAA award for Tenaglia, who was on the All-Rookie Team as a freshman in 2010. He enters the CAA tournament ranked 10th in program history with 168 RBIs and second with 1,329 putouts. He is a career .330 hitter with 45 doubles, eight triples and 21 home runs and will play in his 200th career game in Wednesday’s tournament opener.

McFarland picked up the third All-CAA honor of his career as he was named to the Third Team in both his freshman and sophomore campaigns. The third baseman led JMU in runs (46), hits (68), multiple-hit games (20), home runs (9) and total bases (111) while ranking fourth in the league in hits, fifth in runs, fourth in home runs, third in total bases and eighth with a .512 slugging percentage. He hit .313 with 12 doubles, two triples and 34 RBIs. He enters the CAA tournament with 756 career at bats and will reach the top five all time with two more. He also needs four more walks and three runs scored to reach the top 10. For his career, McFarland is batting .313 with 46 doubles, five triples, 15 home runs, 179 runs scored and 128 RBIs.

After a cold start through the first month of the season, Gregory’s bat heated up to become a key to JMU’s offense, which ranks second in the CAA with a .278 team average. Beginning with a 10-game hitting streak in March, the outfielder hit a team-best .325 over the final 32 games of the season while leading nearly every offensive category during that stretch. He was particularly dominant in league play as he ranked sixth with 28 hits, eighth with 17 runs scored, first with seven home runs, second with 23 RBIs, second with 54 total bases and third with a .643 slugging percentage in 20 conference games. He led all JMU players in batting (.333), slugging, runs, hits, RBIs, home runs and total bases in league play. He enters the tournament batting .285 for the season with 12 doubles, four triples, seven home runs and 36 RBIs while batting .280 in his two-year career with the Dukes following two seasons at Wallace Community College.

Cundiff has been a two-year captain for the Dukes and has received JMU Dean’s List, JMU Athletics Director Scholar-Athlete and CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award recognition in his four years. The sport and recreation management major has been a four-year key contributor to the bullpen. At Delaware last weekend, he moved into a tie for second in program history with 84 appearances, including 83 in relief. His 31 2/3 innings pitched this season are a career best while he needs two more strikeouts to match his best total in a season. For his career, Cundiff is 8-7 with a 6.99 ERA in 119 2/3 innings with 70 strikeouts.

JMU begins competition in the CAA championship on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. as the No. 6 seed facing No. 3 UNCW. CAA.TV will have live, free video coverage of the entire tournament.