Keydet Baseball Splits with Northern Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Va. – The VMI baseball team split a non-conference doubleheader Saturday with visiting Northern Kentucky University, taking the opener 8-3 but falling 7-6 in the nightcap. The Keydets struck out 22 batters in the second game, shattering the old school record of 18 set in 2017.
VMI 8, NKU 3
The Keydets jumped out early, plating three runs in the first frame. Jake Huggins drove in a run with a double, and Nathan Loyd and Will Knight each hit sacrifice flies. Michael Diodato doubled to drive home Josh Hollifield in the fifth to push the lead to 4-0 and VMI scored three more in the fifth. Knight lashed an RBI double and Hollifield and Cody Warner each had RBI singles. Huggins walked with the bases loaded in the seventh for VMI’s final run.
Junior right-hander Jacob Menders completed seven innings on the hill, allowing just three hits, one walk and no earned runs with four strikeouts to pick up the victory. Huggins and Hollifield were each 2-4 with a double. VMI drew 10 walks in the first game, two apiece by Noah Cook and Callen Nuccio. Griffin Kain went 3-3 for NKU.
NKU 7, VMI 6
Junior Zak Kent and freshman Adam Jewell combined for 22 strikeouts in the second game to post a new school record. Kent fanned nine batters in his 4 1/3 innings, while Jewell was electric in his 4 2/3 innings with 13 strikeouts, one hit and no walks.
The Norse went ahead 7-0 with four runs in the fourth inning and three in the fifth. Griffin Doersching delivered a three-run homer in the fourth.
VMI nearly came all of the way back to tie or win the game, scoring four in the fifth and two in the seventh, but NKU’s Cameron Ross worked two scoreless innings to nail down the save.
Don Goodes went 2-4 and Nuccio had two hits and two RBI. Will Haueter was 3-4 for NKU (1-8).
VMI (3-9) hosts VCU Wednesday at 3 p.m.