Defense, Longballs Give VMI 7-3 Win over EIU
LEXINGTON, Va. – The VMI baseball team hit three home runs and turned four double plays Friday afternoon en route to a 7-3 victory over Eastern Illinois University in non-conference action.
Each team scored a run in the first, and the visiting Panthers plated a second run in the top of the third. VMI opened a 6-2 lead with five runs in the bottom of the third with three home runs. Nathan Loyd started the barrage with a two-run blast to center field. Following an out, Ryan Smoot and Jordan Ebersole hit back-to-back solo home runs. It was Smoot's first home run of his career and the second of Ebersole's tenure.
Nathan Light, Adam Jewell and Derek Tremblay combined to allow just eight hits and one walk. Light got the start and worked four innings, while Jewell earned the victory with 3 2/3 innings of relief. Tremblay tossed 1 1/3 innings of hitless relief and the three were aided by four double plays turned by the Keydet defense on the afternoon.
Leadoff man Callen Nuccio was 3-4 with a double and a walk, while Jake Huggins went 2-4 with two doubles. Smoot finished 2-3 with a walk and Jon Clines also had two hits, including a two-bagger.
Christian Pena went 3-4 with a double for Eastern Illinois (25-29) and Hunter Morris hit a home run.
VMI (17-38) and EIU will play the third and final game of the series Saturday at 1 p.m. as the Keydets go for their first sweep of the season. The programs three seniors will be honored in a pre-game ceremony.