Keydets Down JMU in Midweek Action, 7-6
Courtesy: VMIKeydets.com  
Release: 05/16/2017
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Courtesy: SportsPhotoGuy.com for VMI

LEXINGTON, Va. - The VMI Keydets jumped out to an early 6-2 lead and held on in dramatic fashion for a 7-6 win over the James Madison Dukes in non-conference action Tuesday in Lexington, Va.

A three-run homer by Collin Fleischer in the first inning staked Kyle Staats to an early 3-1 lead, and that margin grew to 6-2 after an inning, thanks to a three-run second inning that included Josh Hollifield's second home run in the past four games.

JMU (24-24) scored four of the game's final five runs and had the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position with two outs in the ninth, but freshman catcher Kyle Hayes - taking just his third at-bat of the season - grounded out to the mound as Derek Tremblay preserved the victory.

Offensively, the Keydets (22-29) saw Fleischer and Matt Pita post two hits apiece. Fleischer's homer was his 13th of the year and 32nd of his career, tying him for fourth on the all-time VMI home run list. Kyle McPherson had three hits for the Dukes.

On the mound, Staats (2-0) picked up the win on a staff day. He allowed two runs on four hits in four innings in his first career start. Josh Silvestri (3-4) was tagged for six runs - five earned - in 1 1/3 frames and took the loss. Tremblay allowed a hit and a walk over 1 2/3 innings to record his first career save.

After the Keydets jumped out to the early lead, JMU started a rally in the fifth. An infield hit by Adam Sisk made it 6-3, and an error allowed a second run to score and put two on with two out. With the go-ahead run at the plate, Michael Geary relieved and struck out pinch-hitter Matt Dipasupil to end the threat.

VMI scored on a passed ball in the fifth to go ahead 7-4, and those were the final runs until the top of the eighth. A Ryan Lynch RBI single off Geary made it 7-5, and another run scored when a single by Brandon McKay got away from Pita in center field, allowing Lynch to come all the way around and make it a one-run game. Tremblay came in and hit pinch-hitter Harry Brown, but one out later, struck out McPherson to end the rally and set the stage for the ninth-inning drama.

VMI baseball returns to action for its final series of the regular season Thursday, when the Keydets open a three-game set against ETSU with tournament positioning on the line. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.

VMI 7, James Madison 6 (May 16, 2017 at Lexington, Va.)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
JMU 110 020 020 - 6 11 0 (24-24)
VMI 330 010 00X - 7 10 3 (22-29)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
JMU - Silvestri; McCoy (2); Evans (5); Kelly (7); Semones (8); Coale and Hayes.
VMI - Staats; Kent (5); Geary (5); Tremblay (8) and Maddox.
W - Staats (2-0) S - Tremblay (1) L - Silvestri (3-4)
HR VMI - Fleischer (13); Hollifield (2)
T - 3:42 A - 209


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