CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - A four-run rally in the eighth was the difference as the #13 Virginia Cavaliers defeated the VMI Keydets, 9-7, in baseball action Tuesday in Charlottesville, Va.
VMI (1-4) led from the third inning until the eighth, when Pavin Smith led off with a single against Kyle Staats in a 7-5 game. Jack Gomersall relieved and gave up back to back singles, but struck out Cameron Simmons and went to 0-2 on Charlie Cody.
Cody walked, however, to force in a run, and Andy Weber walked as well to tie the game. Mason Adamson relieved, but Ernie Clement gave UVA (4-0) the lead with a sacrifice fly and Jake McCarthy capped the scoring with a RBI single. The Keydets brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but Tommy Doyle induced a game-ending double play as the Cavaliers held on for the win.
Freshman Noah Murdock (1-0) picked up the win for UVA despite surrendering a run in the eighth, while Gomersall was charged with three runs and dropped to 0-2 with the loss. Doyle picked up his first save by getting the final three outs and allowing just an infield single.
VMI jumped out to the early lead, as Will Malbon led off the third inning with a home run to right field to make it 1-0. Tyler Tharp then went deep in the fourth, his third homer of the season, to double the margin to 2-0.
UVA scored single runs in the fourth and fifth to tie the game, but the Keydets fired back in the seventh. VMI tallied four runs on just one hit, a Matt Dunlevy bases loaded single, and took a 6-2 lead to the bottom of the inning.
The Cavaliers immediately scored three runs, but Peyton Maddox tripled in the eighth and scored on Malbon's RBI groundout, giving the Keydets a 7-5 lead and setting up the late-game drama.
Both starters got no decision, as Zak Kent was lifted in the fourth after allowing just one run on one hit, while Derek Casey gave up two runs - the two solo home runs - on four hits over five frames.
Offensively, Malbon went 2 for 3 with two RBI to lead VMI and four players had two hits apiece for the home team.
VMI baseball will return to action Friday, when the Keydets take on the Bucknell Bison in the VMI baseball home opener. Game time at Gray-Minor Stadium is set for 3 p.m.