LEXINGTON, Va. - Josh Winder struck out 10 in eight strong innings and the bottom four hitters in the VMI lineup went 7 for 14 with four RBI as the Keydets defeated the Bucknell Bison, 6-1, in NCAA baseball action Friday at Gray-Minor Stadium. The game was VMI's home opener.
Winder (2-0) gave up a third inning run but settled in from there, as he retired 16 of 17 hitters he faced in one stretch. Following a run-scoring double by Danny Rafferty in the third, Winder allowed just two more hits in the rest of his outing, and the offense got him the lead for good with a four-run sixth inning. Will Malbon was the driving force in the frame with his second homer in as many games, a three-run shot that gave the Keydets (2-4) the lead for good.
After Bucknell (1-3) took the early 1-0 advantage, VMI tied the game in the fifth. Mason Adamson led off with a single and stole second. Two outs later, Matt Dunlevy singled deep in the hole at short to put two runners on. Matt Pita had an infield hit and Tyler Tharp was hit by a pitch to tie the score, 1-1.
The Keydets then took the lead in the sixth. Peyton Maddox legged out a one-out double and Adamson was hit by a pitch. Malbon followed with a three-run shot to straightaway center field, making it a 4-1 game, and the Keydets tacked on another run in the inning on a Dunlevy sacrifice fly.
A bad-hop seventh-inning RBI single for Maddox capped the scoring at 6-1, VMI.
The starters got the decisions in the contest, as Winder got the win and Connor Van Hoose dropped to 0-2 with the loss. Van Hoose gave up just one hit over the first four innings and did amass eight strikeouts, but gave up four runs in his 5 1/3 innings of work.
Offensively, the Keydets were led by Malbon's 2 for 4, three-RBI day, while Rafferty had the lone two-hit game for Bucknell.
VMI baseball will return to action Saturday, when the Keydets and Bucknell resume their series. First pitch is now set for 4 p.m., and has been moved to that time due to expected weather early in the day.