Samford gets to VMI ace Josh Winder, downs Keydets, 9-2

vmi baseballHomers by Anthony Mulrine and Taylor Garris helped the Samford Bulldogs past the VMI Keydets, 9-2, in the opener of a three-game SoCon series Thursday night in Birmingham, Ala.

Samford (34-20, 14-8) took a 3-1 lead to the fifth on Thursday evening, and then saw Garris and Mulrine go deep in back to back innings on the way to giving breathing room to reliever Josh Rich, who picked up the win. Garris’ fifth-inning homer fueled a two-run frame and Mulrine started the three-run sixth, an inning that saw VMI (25-24, 11-11) ace Josh Winder pulled.

The Bulldogs added a run in the seventh to go up 9-1, and Matt Pita hit a solo homer in the ninth to account for the final margin.

Pita was one of three Keydets with two hits and, with five total bases, moved to within one of Tyler Tharp’s single season school record. Three Samford hitters had two-hit games.

Winder (5-5) took the loss, as he gave up seven earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. He had surrendered just five runs in his past 29 2/3 innings of work. He struck out six and walked one.

Rich (4-5) was the winner with 3 2/3 innings of one-run relief.

With the victory, Samford unofficially clinched the #2 seed in the upcoming SoCon Baseball Championship.

VMI and Samford resume their series Friday at 5 p.m. ET.

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