RICHMOND, Va. – Sophomore D.J. Brown tossed a complete game, allowing one unearned run with nine strikeouts, and led James Madison to a 4-1 victory against Virginia Commonwealth University in the series finale Sunday at The Diamond.
VCU falls to 7-12 overall with a 1-2 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association. Preseason CAA favorite James Madison, which has won 11-straight series dating back to last season, improves to 15-5, 7-2.
Junior Taylor Perkins went 2-for-3, while freshman Bill Cullen finished 2-for-4 and scored VCU's only run. Senior David Benson, who fanned seven James Madison batters, was charged with his first loss of the year after allowing two runs in six innings. Benson left the game trailing 2-1.
James Madison jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the third. Johnny Bladel singled to start the frame and came home on a RBI double by Jake Lowery. Mike Tenaglia then drove in a run two batters later with a sacrifice fly into center field.
VCU got a run back in the bottom of the frame, cutting the Dukes' lead in half. Cullen collected his second hit of the day with a one-out single up the middle and later scored on a wild pitch by Brown to make it 2-1.
After the Rams pulled within a run, Brown, who walked just one batter to go along with his nine strikeouts, settled in and faced the minimum over the next four innings before James Madison extended its lead to 4-1 in the top of the eighth. Three different VCU pitchers issued a walk in the frame before a fielding error allowed a pair of runs to score and the Dukes built a three-run cushion.
James Madison left 12 runners on base while VCU stranded four.
The Rams begin a four-game road trip on Wednesday, March 23 with a 6 p.m. matchup at VMI. VCU continues CAA play with a three-game series at Georgia State March 25-27.