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Schutz Grand Slam Not Enough to Save Bonnies

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On a day where teams were playing through rain in order to get the game in Friday afternoon, James Madison brought some early thunder and withstood some late roars from St. Bonaventure as poor weather conditions dampened a Bona rally effort, 7-4 in eight innings.

Control issues from Bona starter Tyler Germanowski opened the door for the Dukes in the first inning. Four walks during the opening inning set the tone and JMU did the rest with run-scoring hits from David Willis and DaVonn Griffin, pushing five runs across in the opening inning.

The Dukes added a run each in the second and third innings to push their cushion to seven.

In the seventh, the Bonnies made things interesting.

Alexander Ferlenda singled to lead off and with one away both Kevin Koziol and Sam Fuller walked to load the bases. That set the stage for Alex Schutz who drove a 1-2 pitch out to left for his first career grand slam, cutting the Bona deficit to three.

That would be as close as the Bonnies would get, though. As the rain continued to fall, umpires called the game with one out in the bottom of the eighth due to dangerous playing conditions and more rain in the forecast.

Murphy O’Brien struck out three in 2.1 innings out of the bullpen while Ben Contento fanned three, walked none and allowed only one hit in three scoreless frames. Joshua Pittman fared well in his return to his native state of Virginia, striking out to and not allowing a hit or a walk in 1.1 innings before rain ended the game.

Bona’s five hits were spread out evenly among five players – Schutz, Ferlenda, Fuller and Nolan Hayward while the team’s other extra-base hit to go along with Schutz’s grand slam was a double off the bat off Tyler Kelder.

For JMU, Nick Stewart showed the way on the mound with 11 strikeouts over six scoreless innings, limiting his opposition to just one hit during his work.

St. Bonaventure returns home to face Niagara in one nine inning game Tuesday afternoon at Fred Handler Park with first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m.

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