Home VMI edged by Wofford in series opener, 5-3

VMI edged by Wofford in series opener, 5-3


vmiThree runs in the middle innings were the difference in the game as the Wofford Terriers defeated the VMI Keydets, 5-3, in the opener of a three-game SoCon series contested Friday night at Gray-Minor Stadium in Lexington.

The Keydets (18-24, 2-11 SoCon) took a 3-2 lead into the fourth, but with two out, Max McDougald singled to left. He then advanced to second on a balk, the second balk called in as many innings against VMI starter Matthew Eagle (5-5). Kody Ruedisili doubled him home to tie the game and Demetrius Jennings singled home Ruedisili, giving Wofford a lead it would not surrender. The Terriers (22-18, 6-7) added a run in the fifth to account for the final margin.

On the mound, Eagle gave up five runs – four earned – in 4 2/3 innings and took the loss, while Preseason SoCon Pitcher of the Year Matthew Milburn gave up three runs on nine hits over 7 2/3 frames. Will Stillman put two on in the ninth, bringing the potential winning to the run to the plate, but struck out David Geary to preserve his eighth save.

The Keydets got on the board first, when Geary doubled with two outs in the bottom of the first inning. Collin Fleischer then struck out on a bouncing 0-2 pitch, but Wofford catcher Carson Waln threw wildly to first base in an effort to complete the strikeout, allowing Geary to score for a 1-0 VMI lead.

A McDougald RBI double and a fielding error that scored him gave Wofford a 2-1 lead, but the Keydets tied the game on a Matt Dunlevy RBI single in the bottom of the second, and went ahead on a RBI single by Fleischer in the third. That set the stage for Wofford to go in front in the middle innings.

Keydet reliever Jack Gomersall relieved Eagle and allowed just one hit over three scoreless innings, but from the fourth until the eighth, VMI had just one runner in scoring position. That came in the fifth, when Geary and Fleischer were retired after a Malbon double opened the frame.

VMI put two on with two out in the eighth, but Stillman struck out Peyton Maddox to end the frame. The Keydets then saw Tyler Tharp lead off the ninth with a single and Malbon draw a one-out walk, but Eaton and Geary struck out to end the game.

Offensively, the Keydets were led by Malbon and Fleischer, who had two hits apiece, while McDougald went 3 for 4 to pace Wofford.

VMI baseball will return to action Saturday, when the Keydets and Terriers continue their series at 4 p.m.



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