LEXINGTON, Va. – The VMI Keydets posted their highest offensive output in more than a year, putting up 17 runs on 19 hits en route to their seventh straight win, a 17-0 shutout of the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks Saturday afternoon in Lexington, Va. The game, the third game of six in this year’s VMI Tournament, marked VMI’s most runs scored in a game since Feb. 25 of last year, when the Keydets notched 17 against this same UMES club.
VMI (7-2) led 6-0 headed to the sixth when its offense took over. The Keydets put up eight runs in the frame, their highest scoring inning of the season, and did so on just five hits. The big blow was a three-run double by Jordan Tarsovich, while Red Dowdell, Eric Mayers and Sheldon Shifflett also drove home runs to help the Keydets break the game open. The victory extended the longest winning streak for VMI since 2010.
Offensively, the Keydets saw every player who had a plate appearance post at least one hit. Tarsovich went 2 for 4 with three runs scored and a pair of stolen bases, while Will Malbon and Drew Bryan had three hits apiece. Brandon Angus stole four bases, the most by a Keydet since Shane Geisslinger stole four against Norfolk State on April 16, 2008.
On the mound, Andrew Woods (2-0) posted his second straight strong start as he carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning before a bunt single broke up the no-hit bid. Woods finished with six strikeouts against only one walk. Ryan Bennett pitched two one-hit innings in relief for the Keydets, while Jesse Stinnett (0-2) took the loss for UMES (0-7), giving up six runs (three earned) on 10 hits over five innings.
After VMI had taken a 1-0 lead in the first, Stinnett’s defense let him down in the second. With the bases loaded, Tanner Dofflemyer lofted a fly ball to center field that Stephen Bull appeared to have a bead on. The ball clanged off Bull’s glove for an error, however, a miscue that opened the door for a four-run innings and a 5-0 Keydet lead.
That margin grew to six with a single run in the fifth, and VMI blew the game open in the sixth by sending 11 men to the plate. Tarsovich led off by reaching on an error and, one out later, proceeded to steal second and third. After an Angus walk and stolen base, Dowdell singled home Tarsovich for a 7-0 lead. Mayers followed with a RBI double and Shifflett singled home two more runs, pushing the margin to 10-0. Two batters later, Dofflemyer had an infield hit and Tarsovich drilled a three-run double to clear the bases. He then scored on a wild pitch to cap the inning and make it 14-0, VMI.
UMES had its first hit in the seventh on a leadoff bunt single by Greg Turlik. The next batter was hit by a pitch before Woods pitched out of further trouble and preserved the shutout. VMI added on in the eighth, thanks to a two-run single by freshman Josh Worthley and a RBI hit by classmate Brian Dudeck, Jr. that capped the scoring.
"It was fun to watch Andrew Woods go out and compete today. I thought he threw the ball well," said VMI head coach Marlin Ikenberry. "It was nice to have Ryan Bennett get his first career appearance and he did a nice job. We played offense all day and kept expanding the lead. Drew Bryan had a great game and really helped turn our lineup over."