Home Ninth-inning rally comes up short as VMI falls, 3-1

Ninth-inning rally comes up short as VMI falls, 3-1


vmi_logo2The VMI Keydets put the tying runs in scoring position in the ninth inning, but came away empty as the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs held on for a 3-1 win in non-conference baseball action Friday at John Henry Moss Stadium in Boiling Springs, N.C.

David Geary had a one-out single in the ninth for the Keydets (10-21), and Tyler Tharp followed with one of his own after Will Malbon ran for Geary. Drew Bryan ran for Tharp and advanced on a wild pitch by GWU (18-20) reliever Brad Haymes. Haymes, however, recovered and struck out Matt Winn and Will Connerley to end the ballgame.

Erik Heiligenstad (4-3) picked up the win for Gardner-Webb, as he pitched 8 1/3 innings and allowed just one run on six hits. Austin Heenan (0-5) took the loss after an outing that included three runs on five hits, four walks and six strikeouts. Haymes recorded his third save.

Offensively, the teams managed just six hits apiece and only Geary had a multi-hit game, going 2 for 3.

The teams matched zeros until the bottom of the fifth, when Evan Hyett singled and advanced to second on an infield out. Collin Thacker then singled up the middle to put GWU up, 1-0.

The Keydets tied it in the seventh, when Jordan Tarsovich led off with a single off the leg of Heiligenstadt. Geary bunted him to second, and one out later, Winn doubled to straightaway center field to tie the game, 1-1.

VMI was unable to execute the shutdown inning in the bottom half, however. Paul Trick led off with a single and Hyett walked. A sacrifice bunt moved up both runners, and Jack Gomersall relieved Heenan. He walked Thacker intentionally and struck out Jacob Walker, but after each manager went to his bench, pinch-hitter Matt Simmons grounded a two-run single up the middle off reliever Kyle Staats to make it a 3-1 game.

The Keydets threatened in the eighth, putting runners at the corners with two outs, but Ray Lopez was caught stealing to end the inning and set the stage for the ninth.

VMI baseball will return to action Saturday, as the series between the Keydets and Gardner-Webb wraps up with a doubleheader. Game one begins at 2 p.m.



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