Yesterday, I got a chance to watch the JMU Dukes play a baseball game against Fairleigh Dickinson- the two teams’ get-away Sunday contest on a sunny, brisk February afternoon. And, of course, with 13 JMU players with history in the Valley League, there was a good chance that someone would do something worthwhile. That someone was Trevon Dabney.

Dabney (Front Royal 2019), batting leadoff, started off the game with a monster shot to left field in the bottom of the first inning, tying the score at one. It was a no-doubter, clearing the second fence past the wall. He even gave his bat a fun flip on the way down to first.

He wasn’t close to being done, either, as he walked in the third, stole second, and eventually scored on an error. In the fourth, he came up with the bases juiced, and hit a high, drifting drive to right. It didn’t look like it would go at first (in fact, someone behind me in the stands clearly said, “He just missed it!”), but it kept going until it cleared the fence for a grand slam, giving JMU a 9-1 lead.

Dabney also walked in the sixth, and reached base once more, in the eighth, again with the bases loaded, when he was hit in the knee by a pitch. Overall, the young man from Douglassville, Pennsylvania, went 2-3, with three runs scored, two walks, two home runs, and six RBIs. On the season, Dabney is hitting a cool .500/.657/.958 in 24 at-bats, with 10 runs scored, two doubles, three home runs, and nine RBIs. I think that qualifies as a good start.

Travis Reifsnider (Harrisonburg 2019, 2021) went 2-5 for two doubles and scored twice, and Carson Bell (Front Royal 2019) added two walks and two runs scored. Reifsnider is also off to a good start, hitting .348/.400/.696 in 23 at-bats with two home runs and seven RBIs.

On the mound, Joe Vogatsky (Purcellville 2021), one of the best starters in the Valley League last summer, pitched quite well, completing five innings while allowing four hits, three runs, one walk, and striking out three to earn the win.

The next JMU home game is on Tuesday against VMI; given that the forecast calls for 60 degree temperatures, I may head on out again (and it’s $1 hot dog day? Hmmmm).

(Featured photo is from JMU Baseball)