Keydets Use Six-Run Second to Fuel Rout of UMES, 10-1
Courtesy: for VMI
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LEXINGTON, Va.  - The VMI Keydets had seven straight two-out hits in the second inning, bringing home six runs and propelling their squad to a 10-1 win over the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks in NCAA baseball action Sunday at Gray-Minor Stadium in Lexington, Va. The game was VMI's second of the day and was the fourth contest overall in this weekend's three-day, round-robin tournament that concludes Monday.
The Keydets (2-5) struck for a run in the first, but UMES (1-3) starter Zachary Saca retired the first two hitters in the second. Sheldon Shifflett then had the first of his three doubles and Drew Bryan followed with a two-bagger of his own to plate a run. Jordan Tarsovich had an RBI single, Ray Lopez doubled and Rob Dickinson singled home two runs. Nick Dwyer followed with a single, and Red Dowdell singled as well, scoring two runs, knocking Saca out of the game and giving the Keydets a 7-0 lead.

VMI's 14-hit attack was paced by Shifflett, who went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and three doubles, as well as Lopez, who went 2 for 2 with three walks and finished the day 5 for 7 overall. Dickinson chipped in with a 2 for 4, four RBI game and Tarsovich was on base three times as well, scoring two runs.

Jeremy Brown got the nod to start the contest, and came out firing, striking out four of the first six hitters in his season debut. The Keydets got him an early run, scoring in the first on Dwyer's second triple of the game and third of the season.

After the six-run second, UMES notched a single tally in the third. After a fielding error on first baseman Cody Holder, Connor Breslin doubled and Dylan Bell drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, making it a 7-1 game. VMI added on in the bottom half, however, after Shifflett doubled with one out. One out later, Tarsovich and Lopez walked, and Dickinson followed with a two-run single to push the margin to 9-1, VMI.

Brown, on a strict pitch count in his 2013 debut, was lifted to start the fourth. Reliever Rian Ellis threw five straight balls to start the inning, but after a meeting on the mound, settled down and allowed just two baserunners over the next four innings. After the five straight misses, 27 of Ellis' next 42 pitches were in the strike zone.

The offense, meanwhile, grabbed one more run, this coming in the fourth. Brandon Angus walked with one out, and proceeded to steal both second and third before scoring on a Holder sacrifice fly, accounting for the final margin. Miles McQuaig pitched the final two innings, allowing just two singles, to close out the victory.

Brown (1-0) got the win for the Keydets, allowing just one hit and an unearned run over his three innings of work. Saca took the loss, as he was charged with seven runs on eight hits in just 1 2/3 innings.

"Against UMES today, I was very pleased with how we swung the bats early on. Having that big inning in the second was important," said VMI head coach Marlin Ikenberry. "Sheldon Shifflett had a great ballgame for us in the DH role, and really helped us turn our lineup over, while Ray Lopez had a tremendous day as well. I was glad to have Jeremy Brown back on the mound, and felt like Rian Ellis and Miles McQuaig did a good job throwing strikes and getting us through the rest of the ballgame."

Finally, Dwyer's three triples tie him for 10th in program single-season history, just seven games into the season.

VMI baseball is back in action Monday, taking on UMES at 4 p.m. at Gray-Minor Stadium. That game will be the final contest of the VMI round-robin tournament, with Buffalo/UMES preceding it at 12:30 p.m.

VMI 10, Maryland-Eastern Shore 1 (Feb. 24, 2013 at Lexington, Va.)
UMES     001 000 000 - 1 4 1   (1-3)
VMI      162 100 00X - 10 14 2 (2-5)
UMES - Saca; Witte (2); Turley (6); Schott and Aigner (8).
VMI - Brown; Ellis (4); McQuaig (8) and Dowdell.
W- Brown (1-0) L - Saca (0-1) T- 2:20 A-199