Keydets Complete Sweep of CSU With 9-1 Win
Courtesy: for VMI
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N. CHARLESTON, S.C. - Sam Roberts had his seventh straight multi-hit game, Alex Haitsuka extended his hitting streak to 18 contests and the VMI Keydets completed a three-game sweep of the Charleston Southern Buccaneers with a 9-1 win, Sunday afternoon in Big South baseball action in N. Charleston, S.C.

The Keydets fell behind 1-0 in the first, but got that run back on a wild pitch in the second. VMI then scored twice in the fourth and three more times in the fifth to take control of the game, a rally that included a pair of RBI singles for Roberts. All told, VMI (19-16-1, 8-7 Big South) scored nine unanswered runs, helped by four Charleston Southern errors, to take its first series sweep of the season and climb back over .500 in conference play.

Roberts concluded his unbelievable week with a 2 for 2 day that also included four walks, a mark that tied a school record. For the four games this week, the senior went 11 for 15 (.733) with nine RBI and also reached base seven other times via six walks and a hit-by-pitch. He also stole six bases in seven attempts, and has now raised his average 55 points over his run of seven straight games with at least two hits, going from .336 to .391.

The performance has moved Roberts' to second on VMI's all-time on-base percentage listing (.448), while the four walks he drew from CSU (20-20, 7-8 Big South) pitching moved him within four of the school record, 137.

On the mound, Jeremy Brown scattered nine hits over six innings to move to 3-2 on the season. Jesse Cadenhead (2-4) lasted 4 1/3 innings for CSU, allowing six runs, only one of which was earned. Travis Thomas picked up the save with three innings of shutout baseball to close out the victory.

The Bucs took the 1-0 lead in the first, when a Derek Smith single scored Jared Sustar, but VMI tied the game in the second. With two out, Jacob Morley was hit by a pitch and Chase Worthington reached via error. An infield hit by Justin Hess loaded the bases, and Morley promptly scored on a wild pitch to tie the game, 1-1.

Neither team scored again until the fourth, although Haitsuka's third-inning single extended his hitting streak. In the fourth, the Keydets took the lead for good. Hess reached on a two-base error to start the frame, and Roberts followed with an RBI single to make it 2-1. An infield hit by Graham Sullivan followed, and on a sacrifice attempt by George Piccirilli, the ball was thrown away. Roberts scored on the play, giving the Keydets a 3-1 advantage.

That lead grew in the fifth, as Worthington singled with one out. Hess then reached on an error, and Roberts singled home Worthington to push the score to 4-1. Hess would score on a wild pitch and Roberts on a sacrifice fly, putting VMI up 6-1 at the end of five frames.

The final scoring came in the ninth, in a rally started by Hess. The senior singled, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. After a walk to Roberts, the Keydet shortstop was thrown out trying to steal second, but Hess was able to score on the play to notch VMI's seventh run. Sullivan then struck out, but Piccirilli singled, Haitsuka walked and Justin Topping nailed a two-run double to account for the final margin of 9-1.

In addition to Roberts' exploits, the Keydets were led offensively by Hess, who went 2 for 5 with three runs scored, as well as Topping, who went 2 for 5 with two RBI. CSU's Sustar had two hits to pace the Bucs.

VMI baseball will return to action Tuesday, as the Keydets will take on the VCU Rams at the Diamond in Richmond. Game time is set for 6 p.m.

VMI at Charleston Southern (April 17, 2011 at N. Charleston, S.C.)
VMI           .     010 230 003 - 9 14 0    (19-16-1, 8-7 Big South)
CSU                100 000 000 - 1  9  4     (20-20, 7-8 Big South)
VMI - Brown; Thomas (7) and Haitsuka.
CSU - Cadenhead; Markham (5) and Buckley.
W- Brown (3-2) L- Cadenhead (2-4)  T- 2:49  A- 312