Feb 22 / Todd

JMU Baseball Wins Home Opener

Well, on a day when there was even more bad news in the JMU Sports world which we might mention later, at least the Diamond Dukes took their home opener 13-7 over Longwood.  And Rob will be delighted to learn today’s starter was Freshman Ben Garner of none other than Rob’s alma mater, Paul VI High School.  Of course he gave up three runs on five hits and two walks in 2 1/3, but this is college baseball and it was his debut, so needless to say, we’re not gonna complain.

Oh yeah, did I say there was bad news?  Before the game, Curt Dudley tweeted that one of JMU’s top returning offensive players, Johnny Bladel, had been suspended indefinitely for unspecified reasons.  Hopefully football’s off-field shenanigans don’t start bleeding over onto the diamond this year.  Apparently it didn’t affect the offense or the result today, but let’s hope it’s nothing serious.

Reggae Boys' next star?

Purely in the interest of avoiding men’s hoops for another sentence or two, a cool story from JMU Sports today came out that former another former Dukes soccer player is now playing for his country’s National Team.  2009 JMU Captain Joel Senior was slated to be in the squad for Jamaica’s friendly tonight against Cuba, following breakout star CJ Sapong with the US team last month and women’s goalscoring rockstar Corky Julien with Canada.  With Jamaica already drawn in the Yanks’ qualifying group for Brazil 2014, it’s not out of the realm of possibility we could see two former Dukes playing against each other for a World Cup berth in 2012 and/or 2013!

Oh yeah, and men’s hoops blew a big early lead in typical fashion with Brady frustratedly watching with a huge cast from the far end of the bench.  Also wasted an absolutely insane first half performance by Andrei Semenov, who has nearly singlehandedly kept the Dukes competitive in the absence of Julius Wells’ and Humpty Hitchens’ firepower.  Semenov went 4 for his first 4 shooting treys early in the game, with the last one turning into a four-point play.  He was old school NBA Jams type “On Fire!” and it was awesome for a little while.  Of course, Bruiser yelled at his guys, they clamped down, and Andrei only had 5 points the rest of the game.  To be fair, the Dukes played a decent game tonight, with balanced scoring including big contributions from Gene Swindle, but with only seven “healthy” players, including broken-wrist-can’t-shoot Devon Moore, they just seem to wear down every game, especially against tough defensive squads like the Dragons.  I just hope they can avoid losing on senior night to Towson this Saturday at this point.

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