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Barbery and Edens send VMI over Wofford, 2-1

vmi_logo2In a game that was a pitcher’s duel throughout, an eighth-inning infield single by Jordan Tarsovich broke a 1-1 tie and Taylor Edens struck out three of the four hitters he faced to pick up the save as the VMI Keydets defeated the Wofford Terriers, 2-1, in Southern Conference baseball action Sunday afternoon in Spartanburg, S.C.

The Keydet (5-10, 1-2 SoCon) rally in the eighth started when Jacob Jaye led off with a single and moved to second when the ball was misplayed by James Plaisted in left field. Will Connerley bunted him to third base, and one out later, David Geary walked. Spencer Kulman relieved Wofford starter Adam Scott and got a ground ball, but Tarsovich legged out an infield hit to give the Keydets a 2-1 lead.

The game was still in doubt, however, as Derek Hirsch led off  the Wofford (20-6, 2-1) half of the eighth with a single and one out later, Matt Ramsey singled to put runners at the corners. That knocked VMI starter Brandon Barbery out of the game and brought Edens out of the bullpen. He promptly struck out Plaisted on a nine-pitch at bat and induced a pop-out from Matt Pelt, ending the inning.

The Terriers threatened again in the ninth, when Carson Waln singled and Jaye threw the ball low to first for an error that allowed him to move to second. A sacrifice bunt put Waln at third as the potential tying run, but Edens struck out Conor Clancey and Max McDougald to end the game and preserve VMI’s first SoCon win since rejoining the league.

Barbery picked up the victory, moving to 2-1 with 7 1/3 glittering innings. He allowed only an unearned run on five hits, walking two and striking out six. Scott (3-1) took the loss by giving up two runs, one earned, in 7 2/3 frames and Edens notched his second save.

Wofford took the lead in the second, when Kody Ruedisili reached on a Thomas Stallings error and moved to second on the play. Clancey followed with a single and with runners at the corners, Wofford attempted to execute a double steal. Matt Winn threw through and Tarsovich chased the runner back to first, but no one was covering at the bag and Ruedisili scored without a throw to make it 1-0, Terriers.

Barbery settled in and the Keydets tied it for him in the fourth. Geary reached on an error by shortstop Hirsch and stole second. One out later, Tyler Tharp had an infield hit and Winn followed with a ground ball to short. Hirsch got the force on Tharp at second, but Winn hustled to beat the play at first and plate Geary to tie the game, 1-1.

The two pitchers locked up in quite the dual from that point forward and allowed just two combined hits from the bottom of the fourth until the top of the eighth, when the Keydets took the lead to set the stage for the late-game dramatics.

Offensively, the Keydets saw Tharp pick up their only multi-hit game, going 2 for 4, while Hirsch was 2 for 3 to lead the home team.

VMI baseball will return to action Tuesday, when the Keydets travel to Richmond to take on the VCU Rams at The Diamond. Action is set for 6:30 p.m.