CSUF baseball carry offensive juggernaut ahead of JMU

In Baseball, Sports
CSUF baseball shortstop Sahid Valenzuela rounds first base.
(Natalie Medeiros / Daily Titan)

After starting the season 4-2, Cal State Fullerton baseball has struggled in March, winning just three of their last eight games. However, they look to get back on track against James Madison University on Friday.

The Titans sit at 7-7 after winning their midweek matchup with USC.

JMU carries  a 12-5 record to Goodwin Field, but the Dukes are 0-3 in road games this season.

JMU started the season 5-0 until they lost their first game of the season against Lafayette College.

The Dukes’ lone series away from home was against No. 8 University of Louisville, who swept JMU. In that series, the Cardinals outscored the Dukes 17-1 and shut them out twice.

Since that sweep the Dukes are 5-1 and have outscored opponents 46-22 while getting two shutouts of their own.

The Titans are struggling offensively as they have scored 24 runs in five home games this season.

This will be the first time that these two programs have met since the 1995 matchup in the Baton Rouge regional, which saw the Titans beat JMU.

James Madison is led by infielder Kyle Novak, who has a .316 batting average through the first 15 games to accompany 13 RBIs.

There is also power coming from catcher Michael Morgan as he has eight extra base hits so far this season.

He has been very effective with getting on base as he leads the team with 13 walks.

The Dukes’ pitching staff is also doing quite well as they have a combined 3.52 earned run average and 178 strikeouts.

JMU starting pitchers Kevin Kelly (3-1), Nick Stewart (1-2) and Joe Williams (1-0) all have an average under 4.00 ERA with 18 or more innings pitched so far this season.

Titans are led by outfielder Mitchell Berryhill who has a .422 batting average through the first 14 games. Isaiah Garcia and Daniel Cope, along with Berryhill, currently lead the Titans with four extra base hits.

Pitcher Tanner Bibee is the current leader of the Titans pitching staff, as he has started four games and won the first two decisions, accumulating 12 strikeouts with no runs allowed.

JMU ranks 30th in Division I baseball in strikeouts per nine innings at 10.7.

First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday at Goodwin Field.

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