Will Malbon powers VMI Keydets past ETSU, 8-7
Will Malbon went 3 for 5 with his first career multi-homer game and Nathan Eaton recorded his first career save, leading the VMI Keydets past the ETSU Bucs, 8-7, in the opener of a three-game SoCon series Friday in Johnson City, Tenn.
Malbon fueled the Keydets (14-14, 4-3 SoCon) early, as VMI jumped out to a 5-0 lead after three and a half innings. His solo homer in the third and a grand slam, the first of his career, gave the Keydets that five-run margin. ETSU rallied with two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, knocking out Josh Winder, but a three-spot in the seventh gave the Keydet bullpen some breathing room.
The Bucs (15-11, 2-5 SoCon) scored three runs in the eighth, with a two-run double by Christian Bailey off Eaton being the key blow, but the redshirt sophomore retired the next four hitters to close out the game for his first career save.
Corey Johnston (2-0) picked up the win in relief, pitching 1 1/3 innings of hitless, scoreless relief after Winder was pulled in the fifth. ETSU starter Micah Kaczor (2-3) was the losing pitcher, as he was charged with seven runs in 6 1/3 innings. Eaton recorded two strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings for the save.
In addition to Malbon, Eaton and Dunlevy also had multi-hit games for the Keydets, while Chris Cook had three hits to lead the Bucs.
VMI’s win broke a seven-game skid against the Bucs.
VMI baseball will return to action Saturday, when the Keydets and Bucs resume their series. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m., but may be moved to due to weather. Up to the minute changes will be posted on the VMI baseball Twitter page.