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Opponent Preview: James Madison

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Meet the Dukes... State’s opening baseball opponent for the 2020 season

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 16 Richmond at James Madison Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Who’s the Pack playing?

Opponent: James Madison

Mascot: Dukes | School Location: Harrisonburg, VA | Conference: Colonial

2020 Record: 0-0 (0-0, T-1st) | 2020 RPI Rank: n/a

2019 Record: 31-26 (11-13, 6th) | 2019 RPI Rank: 163

2018 Record: 26-26 (11-13, 7th) | 2018 RPI Rank: 145


When? Where? How do I watch?

Location: Doak Field at Dail Park (Raleigh, NC)

Game Time(s): Friday, Feb 14 @ 3:00pm | Saturday, Feb 15 @ 2:00pm | Sunday, Feb 16 @ 1:00pm

TV: Friday | Saturday | Sunday

Radio: TuneIn App, GoPack (Friday | Saturday | Sunday)

Live Stats: Sidearm Stats


Tell me about this team

Being that this is the season opener, probably best to catch up on this group by checking out the non-conference opponent preview we did just a little bit ago.


Who’s on the mound for these guys?

Friday: RHP Nick Stewart (JR)

Saturday: RHP Michael Bechtold (rJR)

Sunday: RHP Chase DeLauter (FR)


Key Players:

Offense

3B Trevon Dabney (SO) - .306/.457/.494, 14 2B, 6 HR, 24 HBP, 17-23 SB. CAA All-Rookie team in 2019. Best all-around hitter returning to the team.

1B Brady Harju (SR) - .295/.358/.469, 9 2B, 9 HR. Former JUCO transfer has a lot of pop, but also K’s a lot.

2B/DH Kyle Novak (SO) - .303/.389/.378, 9 2B, 22:18 BB:K. Former JUCO transfer made the CAA All-Rookie team last year. Handles the bat very well and has good bat control, but not a lot of power.

INF/OF Fox Semones (SR) - .257/.371/.348, 11 2B, 14-17 SB. A Freshman All-American in 2017, but hasn’t really built on that season since, and had a really rough junior year. Has talent, though, and would do well to be a bit more selective at the plate.

C/UT Michael Morgan (JR) - .245/.357/.323, 6 HR, 7-10 SB. Looking for a bounce-back after a down 2019, but mostly due to bad luck in the BABIP department. Was a CAA All-Rookie selection in 2018.

SS Nick Zona (SO) - .337/.387/.388, 5 2B in 98 AB, 9-13 SB. An injury cost him a large chunk of 2019. 38th Round draft pick by the Mets coming out of high school in 2018.

OF Conor Hartigan (JR) - .280/.383/.420, 2 2B, 1 HR in 50 AB. Like Zona, injuries shortened his 2019 campaign.

Pitching

RHP Nick Stewart (JR) - 4-5, 2.74 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, .220 OBA, 72.1 IP, 61 K. A 6’5, 235 righty who has been a member of the weekend rotation since he stepped on campus and has steadily worked his way up to #1 starter status.

RHP Michael Bechtold (rJR) - 2-2, 5.67 ERA, 1.93 WHIP, .280 OBA, 33.1 IP, 25 K. Has had control issues in the past and will need to find the zone more consistently (27 BB, 10 HBP, 5 WP last year).

RHP Chase DeLauter (FR) - 2019 Gatorade West Virginia Baseball Player of the Year. Talented young arm who went 8-1 with a 0.79 ERA in 53.1 IP in high school last year, allowing just 31 hits and 16 walks with 91 Ks.

LHP Brett Ayer (rSR) - 4-1, 2.52 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, .188 OBA, 35.2 IP, 52 K. Will likely move into the closer role on a team that lost its top two bullpen arms from last year. Started off his college career in NC playing for NAIA member St. Andrews University. This kid can be dominant.

RHP Grayson Jones (JR) - 2-1, 2.91 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, .233 OBA, 21.2 IP, 29 K. Can be very effective, but control can be an issue (20 BB and 7 WP in 28.2 career IP).


Quick! Fun Facts!

Not now, chief. I’m in the zone... err, I’m being lazy.


Prediction

I want to say ‘sweep’ by the Pack, but I’ll hedge.

Outcome: State takes two out of three