VMI holds off Eastern Illinois 5-4
LEXINGTON, Va. – The VMI baseball team opened a 5-1 lead Thursday evening and held on to defeat visiting Eastern Illinois University 5-4 in non-conference play.
Ryan Hatten hit a two-run blast in the bottom of the second inning to give VMI an early 2-0 lead. Jon Clines singled in the fourth to bring home Ryan Smoot and push the lead to 3-1. Clines brought home two with another single in the sixth.
Jacob Menders got the start on the hill for VMI and needed just 56 pitches to cover five innings, allowing four hits, one walk and one run to up his record to 5-4. Corey Johnston worked a scoreless frame in the sixth. Zak Kent tossed the final three frames for a save, and worked out of a bases loaded jam to end the contest.
Smoot was hit by a pitch in the sixth inning, tying the school record for HBP in a single season with 23.
Clines finished with three hits and three RBI, while Jake Huggins was 2-3 with two walks. Callen Nuccio went 3-5 with a double and Smoot walked and scored twice. Nathan Loyd drew a pair of walks.
Jimmy Huber went 2-4 with a home run for the Panthers (25-28).
VMI (16-38) and EIU will square off again Friday at 2 p.m.