Home VMI takes series opener with Furman

VMI takes series opener with Furman

vmiThe VMI Keydets scored four runs in the first inning and never looked back, en route to a 10-6 win over the Furman Paladins in the opener of a three-game SoCon series contested Friday in Lexington, Va.

Jacob Jaye led off the VMI (20-30, 3-16 SoCon) first with a single, extending his hitting streak to 15 straight games. Nathan Eaton then hit a bouncing ball to short that took a funny hop away from a set Matt Towarnicky for an error, and that opened the gates. A sacrifice bunt moved up both runners and a walk loaded the bases, bringing up Matt Pita, who singled home a run.

On the continuation of that RBI single, a throw to third base deflected off the glove of Jake Crawford, allowing another run to score for a 2-0 Keydet lead. A RBI groundout and a passed ball gave VMI its four-run lead, and the Keydets would not trail in the contest.

Furman (23-27, 10-9) was able to close within two runs on a pair of occasions, but both times saw the Keydets respond with multi-run innings to pull away once again.

On the mound, Josh Winder picked up the victory (4-4) by allowing four runs on seven hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out five. Will Gaddis (8-3) suffered his first conference loss of the season, as he was hit for six runs – three earned – in five innings of work.

After the four-run first, Furman chipped away with single runs in both the third and fourth, with the fourth inning run coming on a double steal. The Keydets put two on the board in the bottom half, however, when a triple by Tyler Tharp and a double by Jaye plated runs that made it 6-2, Keydets.

The Paladins answered with a pair of runs in the sixth on a two-run shot by DH Jordan Simpson, but again, VMI responded in the bottom half. A two-run double by David Geary, his 20th of the season, highlighted a three-run frame that made it 9-4, VMI.

The Keydets took their biggest lead of the night on a RBI double by Tharp in the seventh, and Furman capped the scoring in the eighth. A RBI single by Jabari Richards, who had homered in the third, and a wild pitch accounted for the final margin.

At the plate, Geary’s 20th double of the season moved him into sole possession of fourth on VMI’s single-season annals, one shy of the third-best effort in team history (Klint Reed, 21, 2006).

VMI baseball will return to action Saturday, when the Keydets and Paladins resume their series at noon. The game will serve as Senior Day, and ceremonies will begin promptly at 11:40 a.m.



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