Historic Fleischer homer, Maddox walk-off send VMI Keydets past Virginia Tech, 9-7
Collin Fleischer made history early and Peyton Maddox capped the night with a two-run, walk-off homer as the VMI Keydets downed the Virginia Tech Hokies, 9-7, in thrilling fashion Wednesday night in Lexington, Va.
The Keydets (22-18) had tied the game in the eighth and it didn’t take long for them to win it in the ninth. With one out, Matt Dunlevy singled against Andrew McDonald (1-6). Maddox jumped ahead in the count and then hammered a three-run pitch halfway up the hill beyond the left field fence for the walk-off homer, his fifth blast of the season and VMI’s first walk-off home run since April of 2012.
The homer made a winner of Nathan Eaton (2-0), who struck out four in two scoreless innings, while McDonald was charged with three runs in 1 1/3 innings and took the loss.
The Keydets took the lead early on a historic homer, as Fleischer homered to center field on an 0-1 pitch with two outs in the first. The long ball was the 42nd of his career, a new VMI record surpassing the mark formerly held by Jordan Ballard.
Virginia Tech (17-24) tied the game in the second on a three-run blast by Nick Menken, but the Keydets took the lead yet again with two runs in the bottom of the frame. VMI would then lead until the seventh, when a two-run double by Michael Fernandez off Matt Eagle gave the Hokies a short-lived 7-6 advantage.
The home team tied the game in the eighth on a single by Matt Pita, setting the stage for Maddox’s dramatic homer.
Wednesday’s victory was the first time the Keydets had beaten two ACC teams in the same season since defeating Duke and Virginia in 1994.
The Keydets were paced offensively by Dunlevy and Pita, who had three hits apiece, and Eaton, who reached base four time. Menken and Fernandez had two hits apiece for the Hokies.
VMI baseball will return to action Friday, when the Keydets open a three-game set at Mercer. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.