JMU roundup: Northeastern deals road baseball loss to Dukes

BROOKLINE, Mass. — Redshirt junior left-hander Aaron Hoover yielded just six hits across eight stellar innings on Friday afternoon, but the James Madison University baseball team couldn’t scrape a run across in a 1-0 loss at Northeastern in Colonial Athletic Association play at Friedman Diamond.

The Dukes picked up seven hits from six different players on the afternoon, but couldn’t string hits together as they fell to 12-19 (2-8 CAA) on the year. Northeastern, now 12-20 (5-5 CAA) in 2015, picked up a pair of doubles with their six hits, with the second and final one plating the eventual winning run.

Hoover was dominant on the afternoon, allowing more than one baserunner in just two innings while facing the minimum in three of his eight frames. The Centreville native walked just one on the day and struck out five, tied for his fourth-highest total of the season.

Junior catcher Bobby San Martin went 2-for-4 to pace the JMU offense, giving the Dukes their only multi-hit performance of the day. Sophomore first baseman Brett Johnson picked up a single to extend his hitting streak to nine games and reach base for the 14th consecutive contest.

After Hoover worked out of a jam with runners on second and third in the first inning, he did not allow a runner past second base until the decisive eighth inning. Northeastern led off that frame with a hit-by-pitch and shortstop Michael Foster drove the runner in with his only hit of the day, a double to the left-center field fence.

JMU got its best chances in the fifth and sixth innings as junior shortstop Kyle Weston and freshman third baseman Bradley McKay both singled to lead off the fifth and Johnson and San Martin picked up two-out singles in the sixth. In both instances, the Dukes were stranded at first and second.

Northeastern starter Nick Berger matched Hoover’s brilliance on the mound to move to 3-3 on the year, throwing eight shutout innings and striking out five while not allowing a walk. With Hoover’s hard-luck loss, he falls to 3-2 in 2015.

The Dukes and Huskies will play the second game of their three-game series Saturday at Friedman Diamond. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.

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