Samford wins pitcher’s duel at VMI, 4-0

vmi baseballThe VMI baseball team trailed just 1-0 through six innings, but a three-run seventh inning gave visiting Samford breathing room as the Bulldogs defeated the Keydets 4-0 Saturday in a Southern Conference game.

VMI freshman right-hander Adam Jewell scattered nine hits and one walk over 6 2/3 innings, striking out six with four runs allowed, three crossing the plate in his final inning. Bulldog starter Jesse McCord and reliever Connor Ratliff combined for eight innings with two hits with four walks. The Samford duo was aided by four double plays.

VMI rallied off closer Stephen Jones in the ninth, getting two runners on with two outs and home-run threat Ryan Hatten at the plate. Hatten belted a long drive to right field, but Jordan Fucci made a leaping grab against the fence to end the rally and the game.

Samford took a 1-0 lead in the first inning after a wild pitch and added three insurance runs in the seventh.

Freshman Nathan Light threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen for the Keydets, striking out two. Will Knight, Josh Hollifield and Hatten had VMI’s hits, and Callen Nuccio walked twice and Hollifield also drew a base on balls. Hatten doubled and was also hit by a pitch.

Branden Fryman was 3-3 for Samford (19-7/5-0 SoCon) and Max Pinto went 3-4 with two runs. The Keydet pitching staff allowed 11 hits, all singles, and walked just one on the afternoon.

VMI (5-22/1-4 SoCon) and Samford are scheduled to complete the three-game series Sunday at noon.


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