Series Notes: VMI baseball hosts Furman in weekend SoCon action
VMI baseball will return to action Friday, when the Keydets open a three-game series against the Furman Paladins at Gray-Minor Stadium. First pitch is set for 6 p.m., while games Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.) will follow.
How to Follow
Fans can see all three games free of charge – with participating provider – via ESPN3. Wade Branner will provide the play-by-play, with AFP editor Chris Graham on color commentary. In addition, live stats and periodic updates via the @VMIBaseco Twitter page will be available.
Probable Starting Pitchers
- Friday: VMI RHP Josh Winder vs. FUR RHP Nik Verbeke
- Saturday: VMI RHP Zak Kent vs. FUR RHP Jordan Beatson
- Sunday: VMI LHP Kyle Staats vs. FUR LHP John Michael Bertrand
- DH/1B Collin Fleischer was the story coming out of Wednesday’s 11-2 win over Richmond, as he went deep in the fourth inning for VMI’s lone homer of the day. It was the 41st homer of Fleischer’s career, tying him with Jordan Ballard for the school record. Fleischer has hit four of his five 2018 homers over VMI’s last six games, during which he is hitting .545 (12-22) and holding an OPS of over 1.700.
- Since joining the starting lineup this past Saturday against Western Carolina, freshman second baseman Callen Nuccio has gone 3-9 with two walks and three RBI. Nuccio has also handled nine chances in the field without an error.
- Scoring in the first inning seems to give the Keydets a bit of a boost. When VMI scores at least one run in the first, the Keydets are 15-2, and when they lead after that frame, they have gone 14-1 on the year.
- VMI’s current five-game winning streak is its longest of the season, and also its best since March 15-28, 2014, when the Keydets also won five straight. The last time the Keydets won more games in a row was a seven-game stretch earlier in 2014, Feb. 16-March 1.
- Outfielder Matt Pita, the current SoCon Player of the Week, enters the Furman series ranked in the top five in the league in 11 different categories.
- If Kyle Staats gets the win on Sunday, he would equal the most wins in a season by a VMI left-hander since 2009. Brandon Barbery won five games in 2015, but other than that, no southpaw has won more since Travis Smink got eight W’s (the third-most in VMI history) in 2009.
Next Time Out
The Keydets will return to action Wednesday, when VMI faces Virginia Tech at Gray-Minor Stadium. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.