Seventh inning the difference for ETSU in win over VMI

vmiThe ETSU Bucs scored four runs in the seventh inning to take the lead for good and defeat the VMI Keydets, 9-6, in SoCon baseball action Saturday afternoon in Johnson City, Tenn.

The Keydets (18-29, 2-15 SoCon) took a 6-5 lead to the seventh, but Hagen Owenby homered with one out to tie the game. Aaron Maher followed with a double and then stole third. One out later, Blake Rowlett doubled him home for to give ETSU (18-24, 5-9) the lead for good. Lance Mays added a two-run single later in the inning to account for the final margin.

Blaine Lafin (1-3) took the loss for the Keydets, as he was charged with two runs in the seventh. Blake Smith limited the Keydets to one hit over the final 5 1/3 innings and moved to 4-4 with the victory.

The Keydets jumped ahead in the second, thanks to a two-run single by Will Malbon. ETSU scored a run in the second and three in the third to take the lead, but VMI rallied in the fourth. Two wild pitches tied the game, 4-4, and Malbon launched a two-run home run for his third long ball of the year, giving the Keydets a 6-4 lead.

A fielder’s choice groundout in the bottom of the fifth cut the lead to one, and set the stage for ETSU’s rally in the seventh.

Offensively, Collin Fleischer went 3 for 4 with two runs scored to lead the Keydets, while Owenby went 4 for 5 with three runs scored for ETSU. VMI shortstop Jacob Jaye extended his hitting streak to 12 straight games with a fourth-inning double.

VMI baseball will return to action Sunday, when the Keydets and Bucs wrap up their series at 1 p.m.

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