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HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Winners in 9 of their last 10 games, the University of Delaware baseball squad will travel to James Madison this weekend to open up Colonial Athletic Association play.

The Blue Hens (11-7) will face the Dukes (14-5) in the series opener Friday night at 6 p.m. Game Two of the series is scheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m. while the series finale will get underway at 1 p.m. on Sunday. All three games will be played at JMU's Veterans Memorial Park.

Friday’s opener will be streamed lived and live radio broadcasts will be available for Saturday and Sunday.

The matchup will feature the top two winning percentages and offenses in the CAA.

JMU has a CAA-best 14 wins and boasts a winning percentage of nearly .750 while the Blue Hens have the third most overall wins, second fewest losses, and second highest winning percentage (.611).

The Blue Hens are batting a CAA-best .325 while JMU is right behind with a mark of .323.

Week in Review:

Delaware is coming off an extremely successful home stand where the Blue Hens went 9-2 and outscored opponents by a wide 122-48 margin. The Hens scored a program-record 15 or more runs in five consecutive games enroute to compiling a season-best six-game winning streak.

This past weekend, UD welcomed the Penn State Nittany Lions to Newark for a three-game series and swept the series in dominating fashion.

On Saturday the Hens swept a doubleheader from the Lions, outscoring Penn State 11-1 over the tewo games.

In the opener, sophomore Brandon Walter took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before allowing his only hit of the outing - a one out single. The New Castle, Del. native struck out a career-high 17 batters and faced just one batter above the minimum for the eight innings.

Walter’s dominance earned him CAA Pitcher of the Week this season and earned him a spot on Collegiate Baseball’s Player of the Week list.

The Hens bats took advantage of reaching the PSU bullpen in the sixth, and added five runs in the seventh to give Walter some breathing room.

In the second game of the series, the Hens received another great outing, this time from junior co-captain Nick Spadafino. Spadafino allowed just two hits striking out five in six innings of work. The Blue Hens received three one-hit innings from Matt Hornich, who earned his first career save.

In the finale, Delaware received another superb effort from a starting pitcher as Kevin Milley struck out nine batters in seven shutout innings.

After UD struck first in the second inning, neither offense could produce a run as the game remained 1-0 heading to the bottom of the six. In the inning the Hens added two runs to take a 3-0 lead.

After Milley ended his outing with a 6-4-3 double play in the seventh, Hens slugger Jordan Glover socked an opposite-field grand slam on the first pitch he saw from new Penn State reliever Blake Hodgens. The home run gave the home team a 7-0 lead. 

Delaware received perfect innings from Kyle Hinton and Colman Vila to finish off the program's first sweep of a Power Five program since 2001.

In total, Delaware outscored Penn State 19-1 over the brief three-game set, producing 35 strikeouts, 31 of which game from a starting pitcher. The Hens' starting pitchers combined to pitch 21 shutout innings allowing just five hits.

Scouting the Foes:

The Dukes come into the weekend as winners of 13 of their 17 and boast a CAA-best 14-5 record.

This past weekend JMU took three out of four games from NJIT before dropping a 6-1 contest to Liberty on Tuesday. In the opener of the NJIT series, JMU hit five home runs on 19 hits, earning a 20-6 victory.  

Last weekend the Dukes got a big performance from freshman Fox Semones , ho made his first career start during the weekend. The second baseman batted 7-for-13 (.538 batting average) over the four games scoring five runs, with four RBI, two doubles, and two stolen bases. 

Semones was named CAA Rookie of the Week on Monday for his efforts and is the second James Madison player to earn that honor this season.

On Tuesday the Dukes received a home run from junior catcher Zach Tondi but managed just three hits against the Flames.

Coming into this weekend, the Dukes have produced a CAA best 173 runs (9.1 per game) and have hit a league-best 35 home runs.

Brett Johnson, Tondi, and Adam Sisk have provided immense power this season, having produced a combined 18 home runs in 19 games. Johnson leads the Dukes in home runs (8), RBI (26), total bases (50), and slugging percentage (.758).

This weekend's three starters for James Madison are a combined 7-1, allowing just 31 earned runs in 71 innings pitched.

All-Time Series:
JMU leads the all-time series 27-25. The Dukes defeated the Hens two out of three games last April at Bob Hannah Stadium.

Probable Starters:
Game One-
LHP Brandon Walter (2-3, 1.97 ERA) vs. RHP Brandon Withers (4-0, 4.71 ERA)
Game Two- RHP Nick Spadafino (2-0, 4.18 ERA) vs. LHP Colton Harlow (1-1, 6.15 ERA)
Game Three- LHP Kevin Milley (2-0, 2.89 ERA) vs. RHP Josh Silvestri  (2-0, 3.60 ERA)

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