Keydets Down #15 Virginia, 9-4
Courtesy: Sideline Carolina
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - A six-run first inning was all the VMI Keydets needed to down another ranked opponent. This time, it was the #15 Virginia Cavaliers that the Keydets defeated by a score of 9-4 in NCAA baseball action Tuesday at Davenport in Charlottesville. The Keydets spoiled UVA's home opener in the win and notched their second victory over a ranked opponent in the season's first five days, following Feb. 16's win at then-#19 South Carolina.

VMI (2-2) jumped ahead when the fifth batter of the game, Will Malbon, singled home a run. After a walk, Matt Dunlevy walked to force in a run and end the brief Griff McGarry start. Jake Huggins greeted reliever Grant Donahue with a two-run single that saw Dunlevy score as well, when the ball got away from UVA center fielder Jake McCarthy.

Michael Diodato tacked on a RBI single to make it 6-0 and cap the huge outburst, and although UVA pulled within 7-4 after six, the Keydets tacked on two insurance runs in the eighth to account for the final margin.

The starters got the decisions, as after enduring a tough 2017, Brandon Barbery (1-0) pitched five solid innings to get the win in his first 2018 start. The senior allowed just one earned run on six hits. McGarry (0-1) was charged with five runs, all earned, on two hits and three walks in two-thirds of an inning.

After taking the early 6-0 lead, the Keydets added a run in the second when Malbon singled home Pita, who had stolen second with two out. The home team got a run back in the bottom half on a RBI infield hit, and then added two more in the fifth and one in the sixth.

In that sixth inning, the first two men singled off reliever Derek Tremblay, putting runners at the corners and moving the tying run into the on-deck circle, but Tremblay induced a huge double play off the bat of Devin Ortiz and limited the damage to one run. The Cavaliers would not score again, and Dunlevy drove in two in the eighth to put the game out of reach.

The win marked the first time VMI has defeated two ranked teams in the same season since 2007 (#10 Auburn and #3 Virginia), and also marked the third time in the last five years the Keydets have won in Charlottesville. Malbon was the hitting standout, going 3 for 4 with two RBI and two runs scored, and Pita had three hits and scored twice as well.

Caleb Knight had three hits to pace the home team.

VMI baseball will return to action Friday, when the Keydets take on the Lafayette Leopards in VMI's home opener, the opener of a three-game set at Gray-Minor Stadium. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.

VMI 9, #15 Virginia 4 (February 20, 2018 at Charlottesville, Va.)
VMI 610 000 020 - 9 12 2 (2-2)
#15 UVA 010 021 000 - 4 10 1 (2-2)
VMI - Barbery; Tremblay (6); Ewald (6); Eagle (8) and Maddox.
UVA - McGarry; Donahue (1); Rohm (4); Whitten (6); Wilson (8); Meyer (8) and Knight.
W - Barbery (1-0) L - McGarry (0-1)
T - 3:54 A - 3709