Image courtesy of JMU Athletics Communications
By Bennett Conlin (This content was originally published in our newsletter)
Coming home – JMU (11-5) starts the JMU Invitational today with two games. The Dukes face St. Joe’s at 12:30 p.m. and Rutgers about 30 minutes following the completion of the game against St. Joe’s. JMU plays Binghamton and Morgan State over the weekend to wrap up the tournament.
What to watch for – JMU’s home dominance. The Dukes were 14-4 at Veteran’s Memorial Park last season and boast an 87-15 home record over the past five seasons. Look for JMU to go 4-0 over the weekend behind strong pitching and an excited home crowd.
National standing – JMU ranks 18th, 22nd and 23rd in the various polls. The top-16 teams at the end of the season earn national seeds and host an NCAA Regional. The Dukes will be in contention for a top-16 seed all season, but they’ll need a strong finish to their season. Of the 34 teams left on JMU’s schedule, none of them are ranked. That’s wild.
As insane as it sounds, JMU has a chance to go 34-0 the rest of the way and end the regular season with a 37-game winning streak. I know, I sound like a lunatic, but the Dukes will be favored in every contest and should win at least 10 of the remaining games by five runs or more. Ending the regular season on a 37-game winning streak might be a lofty goal, but it’s not as insane as it sounds. A lot of the games the rest of the way will be easy wins. At the very least, I think JMU needs to go 30-4 to end the regular season with a shot at a top-16 seed. This would give the Dukes a regular season record of 41-9.