VMI Baseball: Keydets lead early, but #14 Clemson rallies for 11-6 win

vmi baseballThe VMI baseball team held a 3-0 lead after five, but #14th-ranked Clemson rallied for an 11-6 victory Sunday in non-conference play.

Senior first-baseman Jake Huggins lofted a sacrifice fly in the third to put VMI ahead 1-0. Josh Hollifield singled to drive in a run and Ryan Smoot drew a bases-loaded walk to put the Keydets ahead 3-0 in the fourth. Junior Zak Kent kept the powerful Tiger offense off the scoreboard through five, but ran into trouble in the sixth. Clemson went on to plate six runs in the inning, two credited to Kent and four to the VMI bullpen.

The Keydets cut the led to two with a run in the seventh, as Smoot walked again and eventually scored on a passed ball. Clemson broke the game open in the eighth inning with five runs, four on a grand slam from Sam Hall. VMI didn’t quit however, and pushed two more runs across in the ninth.

VMI left nine batters on base; Clemson stranded seven. The Tigers hit .364 (4-11) with runners in scoring position, while VMI was just 2-of-11 (.182).

Smoot walked four times on the afternoon and added a hit and two runs scored. Callen Nuccio had a hit and two walks for the Keydets, and Will Knight doubled. Kent finished 5 1/3 innings, allowing just two hits, three walks and two runs while striking out six in a no-decision.

Logan Davidson was 3-5 for Clemson (6-1).

VMI (2-6) travels to James Madison University for a non-conference game Tuesday at 3 p.m.

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