HARRISONBURG, Va. – The VMI Keydets scored the last six runs of the game and Campbell Henkel threw 5 1/3 solid innings in a midweek start, sending the Keydets over the James Madison Dukes, 6-1, in non-conference action Tuesday night in Harrisonburg, Va.
James Madison (12-25) took a 1-0 lead in the first, but VMI (22-16) scored single runs in both the third and fourth innings to take the lead for good. The Keydets then nursed that lead into the eighth inning, where two RBI singles and a Matt Winn two-run ninth inning homer broke the game open.
Henkel, meanwhile, scattered five hits over 5 1/3 innings to pick up his second win of the year, while four Keydet relievers combined to allow just three hits over the final 3 2/3 frames. Dylan Horne (0-1) took the loss after allowing the go-ahead run in the fourth inning.
At the plate, the Keydets saw three players – David Geary, Brandon Angus and Eric Mayers – collect two hits apiece, while Ty McFarland led the home team with a 3 for 5 night.
JMU took the early lead with a run in the first, but VMI got on the board in the third. Jordan Tarsovich singled with two out and stole second. Geary then looped a single to left, scoring Tarsovich easily to tie the game, 1-1. The Keydets then took the lead for good in the fourth when Mayers led off with a double. Cameron Walter bunted him to third and Josh Worthley grounded out to score a run, making it 2-1, Keydets.
The home team then threatened in the sixth. Matt Tenaglia walked with one out, ending Henkel’s night and bringing Taylor Edens out of the bullpen. Bobby San Martin singled, but two groundouts allowed the Keydets to wriggle off the hook. The Dukes put together another rally in the seventh, putting two on with only one out, but Conner Brown lined out to Mayers in left. Mayers threw behind the runner at second base for a double play to end the inning.
The Keydets finally added on in the eighth, when Will Malbon led off with a bunt single. Tanner Dofflemyer bunted into a fielder’s choice and Tarsovich flied out, but Geary walked and Angus singled to right, scoring a run and pushing the lead to 3-1. Mayers then singled as well, scoring Geary and making it a 4-1 game.
The final runs came home in the eighth, when Thomas Stallings led off with a pinch-hit double. Winn then launched an 0-1 pitch over the right-center field wall for his first home run of the year, making it a 6-1 game and accounting for the final margin.
VMI baseball returns to action Friday, opening a Big South series against the Winthrop Eagles in Rock Hill, S.C. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.