Keydets Take Series With Offensive Explosion, 13-1
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FARMVILLE, Va. – Thomas Stallings and Rob Dickinson had three hits each, including a home run apiece, while Jordan Tarsovich added his first long ball of the season and the VMI Keydets never trailed en route to a 13-1 victory over the Longwood Lancers in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday at Bolding Stadium in Farmville, Va. With the win, VMI splits the doubleheader and wins the series, 2-1.

The Keydets (11-15, 3-3 BSC) scored two runs in the second on a wild pitch and a wild pickoff throw by LU (11-12, 3-3 BSC) pitcher Blake Ream. Cody Holder then reached on a second error, bringing up Stallings with two runners on. The Keydet second baseman hammered Ream’s first pitch over the left field wall for his first career home run, putting the finishing touches on a five-run inning that broke the game open early. The Keydets then put the game out of reach by scoring in each of the final five innings en route to the first series win of the year.

The work on the mound was the other story of the day, as the Keydets allowed just an unearned run in the series finale. For the three games, VMI gave up just one earned run, the only earned run surrendered over the team’s last 29 innings of work. In Saturday’s second game, it was Jeremy Brown (3-0) who earned the victory with 6 1/3 innings of strong work, scattering four hits and striking out five. Ream took the loss by giving up six runs over two innings, walking three as he dropped to 2-3 on the year.

After a scoreless first, Sheldon Shifflett led off the VMI second with a single. Red Dowdell then walked and Brandon Angus bunted both runners up a base. Ream then uncorked a wild pitch, scoring Shifflett, and Drew Bryan walked on four pitches. Ream then attempted a pickoff at first base, but the throw was wild down the right field line, allowing Dowdell to score for a 2-0 lead. Holder then hit a two-hopper to Alex Owens at third base, but the ball bounced off Owens’ chest and away for an error, bringing up Stallings with two on and setting the stage for the sophomore’s long ball.

Angus doubled home a run in the third for a 6-0 lead, and with one out in the fifth, Dickinson hammered the first pitch from Tyler Wislocki over the right center field wall for his third home run of the year. That gave the Keydets a 7-0 edge.

The visitors continued to add on in the sixth, as Holder doubled with one out. Stallings then walked, and after a double steal, Tarsovich walked as well. Will Connerley then lofted a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Holder for an 8-0 Keydet lead.

The Lancers got a run back in the sixth, when C.J. Roth singled home a run, but VMI came right back in the seventh, when Dowdell scored on a wild pitch to make it 9-1, Keydets. RBI hits for Dickinson and Dowdell in the eighth pushed the margin to 11-1, and Tarsovich launched a two-run shot in the ninth, his first of the year, to account for the final margin.

The 12-run margin of victory was VMI’s second-largest of the year. In addition to Dickinson and Stallings, the Keydets saw Shifflett (2 for 5), Angus (2 for 4) and Dowdell (1 for 3, 2 BB, 2 runs) lead the way offensively, and Dickinson’s eighth-inning double tied him with Jordan Ballard ’10 for 8th on VMI’s all-time career listing.

VMI baseball will return to action Tuesday, facing the Virginia Tech Hokies in Blacksburg. Game time is set for 5:30 p.m.