LEXINGTON, Va. - After falling behind early, the VMI Keydets scored six of the game's final seven runs en route to a 6-4 win over the Binghamton Bearcats in game two of a doubleheader, played Sunday at Gray-Minor Stadium in Lexington, Va.
Trailing 4-3 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, VMI's (5-8) Brandon Diamond led off with a walk. Diamond was forced out on a bunt attempt, and Drew Bryan flied out to right center, but the Keydets then saw four straight runners reach with two out. Jordan Tarsovich had a bunt single, and Brandon Angus singled to center to tie the game, 4-4. Rob Dickinson then fell behind 0-2 but was plunked by a Joe Swindells pitch to lead the bases, and Cody Holder looped a two-run single to right to give the Keydets the 6-4 edge, and account for the final margin.
Binghamton (4-4) got the tying run to the plate twice in the last two innings, but Andrew Woods (1-0) shut the door on both occasions to pick up his first career win. Woods pitched 2 1/3 sterling innings, allowing just a hit and a walk. Swindells (0-1) took the loss by giving up three runs over 2 2/3 frames.
Offensively, the Keydets saw Dickinson got 3 for 4 with two RBI and Holder post a 2 for 4 day with three runs driven in.
For the second straight game, it was Binghamton that jumped out to an early lead, this time against Campbell Henkel. An 11-pitch at-bat to start the second inning ended with a walk to Brian Ruby. One out later, he stole second. Henkel struck out Jordon Smucker, but an infield hit put runners at the corners and Nick Pancerella followed with a RBI single, putting the Bearcats up, 1-0.
The Keydets threatened in the bottom half, loading the bases with two outs, but Bryan flew out to right to end the inning. Binghamton got back on the board in the fifth, with Pancerella again at the heart of the rally. The BU catcher doubled with one out, and went to third on a single by John Howell. He then scored on a fielder's choice groundout, pushing the visitors' margin to 2-0.
VMI again put together a threat in the fifth, putting runners at second and third with one out, but Matt Winn and Diamond struck out to end the inning. BU got another run in the sixth, when Smucker singled to plate Jake Thomas, but the Keydets rallied in the bottom half against two Bearcats relievers.
Mark Palumbo entered to start the sixth and struck out David Geary, but Bryan singled to center and Tarsovich walked on four pitches. Angus then walked as well, and Dickinson delivered a ringing two-out double to right center, making it a 3-2 game, and Holder delivered a RBI single to tie the score, 3-3. Swindells relieved and wriggled out of further damage, allowing the Bearcats to retake the lead in the seventh on a Thomas RBI triple, setting the stage for VMI's rally later in the inning.
"After game one, it would have been very easy for our team to fold," said VMI head coach Marlin Ikenberry. "I'm thrilled with the way our guys competed and showed heart, both in coming back for game two and in fighting the cold weather. The middle of our lineup did a great job in game two, getting big hits and scoring runs, and Campbell Henkel pitched well into the seventh. Andrew Woods coming in and shutting the door was great to see as well."
VMI baseball will return to action Wednesday, taking on the Virginia Cavaliers in Charlottesville. Game time is set for 4 p.m.