LEXINGTON, Va. - The George Washington Colonials took advantage of four errors and five wild pitches by the VMI Keydets and prevailed, 6-5, in the middle game of a three-game baseball series contested Saturday in Lexington, Va.
A two-run homer by Will Malbon gave VMI (4-6) a 2-1 lead in the second, but GW (3-8) tied it in the third and took the lead for good in the fifth. A wild pitch and an error contributed to the Colonials being able to build the go-ahead runs against reliever Zak Kent (0-1).
The Colonials then added two more in the seventh before VMI rallied with a three-spot in the eighth, but Jordan Ebersole - representing the tying run - was thrown out trying to advance to second base on a dirt ball to end the inning. The Keydets then went in order in the ninth.
Kent took the loss after giving up two runs - one earned - in two relief innings of starter Matt Eagle. Kent struck out two and walked one, while Eagle departed after four innings of two-run, four-hit baseball.
Elliot Raimo got his first collegiate victory (1-1) with six innings of two-run ball and Eddie Muhl picked up his first save despite giving up three runs in the eighth.
After not taking pre-game practice of any sort, batting or infield, GW took an early 1-0 lead on a RBI single by Robbie Metz. Malbon's two-run shot in the second gave the Keydets the lead, but the visitors tied it on a leadoff home run by Brandon Chapman in the third.
With the score tied at 2, Joey Bartosic singled with one out in the fifth against Kent. He then advanced to second on a wild pitch and Metz had an infield hit. After a second wild pitch moved Metz up a base, Mark Osis lofted a sacrifice fly to score a run and an error on shortstop Michael Diodato allowed a fourth run to score, making it 4-2, Colonials.
The margin grew to 6-2 in the seventh, but VMI rallied back in the eighth. A RBI double by Payton Maddox, a Malbon sacrifice fly and a RBI single for Garrett St. Laurent cut the margin to one, but with Quinn Smith pinch-hitting, Ebersole was thrown out trying to advance to end VMI's final rally.
Offensively, Malbon went 3 for 3 with three RBI and a run scored to lead the Keydets, while St. Laurent and Tharp added two hits apiece. Malbon's home run was his third of the year, equaling his entire 2016 output, and he finished a double short of the cycle.
Three GW players had two-hit games for the visitors.
VMI baseball will wrap up its series with George Washington Sunday at 1 p.m.