The VMI Keydets scored seven early runs and a Jacob Jaye home run in the seventh, the first of his career, provided insurance as VMI downed the Lafayette Leopards, 8-5, in NCAA baseball action Sunday afternoon in Lexington, Va. With the win, the Keydets completed a sweep of the weekend series.
After VMI (5-3) took a 7-0 lead in the third, Lafayette (0-3) climbed back to within four in the sixth at 7-3. Jaye then led off the seventh by lofting an 0-1 pitch from left-hander Kyle Johnson over the right-center field wall for a solo home run, putting VMI up, 8-3. Lafayette was able to get within 8-5 and bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but Nathan Eaton induced a 3-6-1 double play to end the game and complete the sweep.
True freshman Josh Winder (1-1) was the beneficiary of VMI’s 10-hit attack, as he scattered eight hits and three runs over seven innings to earn his first collegiate win. Winder threw 74 of his 98 pitches for strikes. Lafayette starter John Cain (0-1) allowed seven runs, four earned, in 2 1/3 frames and took the loss.
The scoring started just three batters into the VMI first, as after a David Geary triple, Collin Fleischer singled him home to make it 1-0. A fielding error allowed Peyton Maddox to reach and Tyler Tharp promptly doubled home two runs, making it a 3-0 contest after one inning.
VMI added on in the third. A RBI single by Jaye pushed the margin to four, and Will Malbon drove home two runs with a double to right center. A fielding error on a bunt allowed the seventh Keydet run to score and it was 7-0, VMI.
A two-run single by Steven Cohen cut the margin to 7-2 in the fifth, and the visitors added a run in the sixth as well. Jaye then capped the VMI scoring with his home run in the seventh, and despite single Lafayette runs in the eighth and ninth, the Keydets were able to claim the victory.
Offensively, Jaye, Fleischer and Peyton Maddox all had two hits apiece to lead VMI. Michael Coniglio had a three-hit game for the visitors.
VMI baseball will return to action Tuesday, when the Keydets travel to Richmond to take on the Richmond Spiders. First pitch at Pitt Field is set for 2:30 p.m.