VMI Keydets play host to ETSU in crucial weekend series
VMI baseball returns to action – and wraps up the regular season – with a three-game series beginning Thursday against the Bucs of ETSU. The series gets underway Thursday at 6 p.m., with games Friday (4 p.m.) and Saturday (1 p.m.) to follow.
Fans can watch all three games for free – with participating provider – on WatchESPN and the ESPN app with Wade Branner and Chris Graham providing the play-by-play and commentary. Live stats and periodic updates via the @vmibaseco Twitter will also be available.
Probable Starting Pitchers
- Thursday: VMI RHP Josh Winder vs. ETSU RHP Ryan Simpler
- Friday: VMI LHP Brandon Barbery vs. ETSU RHP Blake Smith
- Saturday: VMI TBA vs. ETSU RHP Griffin Krieg
First Words – Game Notes
This series, and The Citadel/Wofford series as well, will decide the #7, #8 and #9 seeds for next week’s Southern Conference Tournament. The full description of scenarios and results are available on page two of the game notes for the series.
Individually, all eyes will be on Tyler Tharp and Josh Winder as they look to set single season records in these three games. Tharp’s season is among VMI’s best all-time in home runs, total bases, slugging percentage and hits, while Winder will be looking to set new VMI marks in innings pitched and strikeouts. In fact, Winder could become the first Keydet pitcher ever to surpass the 100-innings pitched plateau.
The Keydets will be looking to turn around recent ill fortune against the Bucs, as ETSU has captured 12 of the last 15 meetings between the programs dating back to the year 2000. Since both programs rejoined the SoCon, ETSU has won five of six.
Thursday’s game will bid two of the top five starters – in terms of innings pitched – in the SoCon this season, Winder (95.2) and Ryan Simpler (86.2).
Next Time Out
This series will determine what date VMI will open the Southern Conference Baseball Championship presented by Holston Gases. The Keydets will play their first game of the tournament either Tuesday at 10 a.m., in a single-elimination contest, or a time TBA on Wednesday in the main, double-elimination draw.