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VMI sweeps doubleheader at UNCG to close out 2021 season

vmi baseball 2021The VMI baseball team won both ends of a Southern Conference doubleheader Friday at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 3-2 and 8-4, to close out the 2021 season.

The Keydets won their last two conference series of the season and were victorious in five of their last seven contests.

Redshirt senior Jacob Menders closed out his VMI career with a stellar effort on the mound in the opener. The right-hander threw seven innings, allowing only six hits, one walk and two runs with six strikeouts. His record improved to 6-3 on the year and he posted victories in four of his last six starts, all SoCon games.

Cody Warner led off the third inning with a walk and moved to third on a Justin Starke single. A UNCG balk scored one run and Trey Morgan brought Starke home with a two-out single.

Will Knight gunned out a runner trying to advance from first to third on a double in the fourth inning to stop a potential Spartan rally. Starke struck again in the seventh, singling to bring Ty Swaim home and make it a 3-0 game.

UNCG finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh, with Bradley Bott hitting an RBI double, followed by a sacrifice fly.

Will Lopez pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Morgan earned his third save of the year with a perfect ninth.

Starke finished 3-for-3 with two walks and Morgan delivered two hits. Cody Warner walked twice.

Zack Budzik was 2-for-4 for the Spartans.

The Keydets scored two runs in the fifth and three in the sixth to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 5-1 advantage in the nightcap. Nathan Loyd homered in the fifth to drive in both runs.

VMI loaded the bases in the sixth and scored runs on a Morgan walk, a Zac Morris sacrifice fly, and a wild pitch. The Keydets added two runs in the ninth, both scoring on wild pitches.

Loyd finished 2-for-3 and Starke had two hits, a walk and a stolen base. Morris went 2-for-4, Morgan had a hit and a walk and Knight walked twice.

Tyler Bradt allowed just one earned run in 5 1/3 innings, scattered four hits and three walks with four strikeouts to earn the win.

Zack Mallia had a pinch-hit home run for the Spartans 27-25/12-18 SoCon.

VMI finishes the 2021 season 18-29 and 13-17 in SoCon play. Picked to finish last in the eight-team SoCon in both pre-season polls, the Keydets finished sixth and were just a half game out of fifth in the conference standings.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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