VMI holds off Wofford in series opener, 4-3

vmi baseballJosh Winder and Ryan Bennett teamed up to not allow an earned run, and a seventh-inning homer by Collin Fleischer provided the eventual winning run as the VMI Keydets defeated the Wofford Terriers, 4-3, in the opener of a SoCon baseball series Friday in Spartanburg, S.C.

The Keydets (16-15, 3-4 SoCon) took a 4-2 lead on Fleischer’s fifth homer of the year, a blast in the seventh inning, but Wofford (16-15, 2-2) scored an unearned run in the bottom of the frame and still trailed, 4-3, headed to the bottom of the ninth.

Bennett walked McClain Bradley to begin the frame, and after a strikeout, Bradley stole second. He then stole third after another whiff, putting himself at third base with two outs. Carson Waln walked and stole second himself, putting the tying and winning runs in scoring position, but Bennett fanned Reed Massey to end the game and preserve the victory.

The Keydets won the game despite Wofford stealing nine bases and the VMI defense committing five errors.

Winder, who did not pitch a complete game for the first time since March 10 and did not complete the eighth inning for the first time since Feb. 17, still moved to 5-2 on the year. He pitched six innings and allowed two unearned runs, striking out seven and walking three.

The losing pitcher was Adam Scott (3-3), who gave up four runs in seven innings and struck out 10. Bennett allowed an unearned run in three innings and picked up his fourth save.

Wofford jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second, helped by a pair of VMI errors in the inning, but the Keydets tied it on a two-run single by Matt Dunlevy in the fourth. VMI then took the lead for good in the fifth, when Jacob Jaye walked with one out. He then stole second and one out later, Peyton Maddox singled him home for a 3-2 Keydet lead.

Fleischer then homered in the seventh to set the stage for the late game drama.

Offensively, Maddox and Dunlevy had two hits apiece for VMI, while Brett Hash and Max McDougald had two hits each for Wofford.

VMI and Wofford resume their series Saturday at 3 p.m.