Photo courtesy of JMU Athletics Communications
By Bennett Conlin (This content was originally published in our newsletter)
Two wins – The Dukes (7-4) took care of business Saturday, beating Drake and Kent State by a combined score of 16-1. JMU flexed its muscle as a powerful mid-major and looked strong heading into Sunday.
Two losses – It wasn’t a great Sunday for JMU. The Dukes lost to Minnesota 5-1 in the first game of the day before losing 8-6 (eight innings) to Arizona in the second game. JMU was an out away from beating Arizona on two separate occasions, but the Dukes couldn’t get it done. The Dukes erased a 4-0 deficit against the Wildcats, which showcased the team’s ability to compete against top teams, but the loss will certainly sting given how close JMU came to winning.
Missed chances – Wins over No. 23 Minnesota or No. 12 Arizona would’ve been helpful come May. The Dukes are going to be an NCAA Tournament team, and victories over ranked teams go a long way toward earning a seed and a home NCAA Regional.
Up next – Luckily, JMU has a few good chances to win meaningful games this coming week. The Dukes play Michigan (receiving votes) and Arizona State (No. 15 in the USA Today poll) on Thursday. JMU faces South Dakota on Friday and New Mexico State and Lehigh on Sunday. The Thursday games hold the most value.