LEXINGTON, Va. - The VMI Keydets rallied from a 6-0 deficit by scoring 13 of the game's last 15 runs and prevailed over the George Washington Colonials in a marathon contest, 13-8, Sunday afternoon at Gray-Minor Stadium. With the victory, the Keydets won the series two games to one.
VMI (5-6) fell behind 6-0 in the second as starter Brandon Barbery was knocked from the game, but four runs in the fourth, one in the fifth and five more in the sixth - keyed by a Peyton Maddox two-run double - gave the Keydets the lead for good.
In the offensive slugfest, the Keydets were led by Matt Pita, who went 4 for 6 with three RBI. Will Malbon added three hits as well and went 7 for 11 (.636) in the series with 15 total bases.
Brandon Chapman went 2 for 3 with three runs scored and his second home run in as many days to lead GW (3-9).
GW jumped out to the early 6-0 lead against Barbery. After a leadoff walk to start the second, Nate Fassnacht bunted down the first base line. Barbery and catcher Ryan Smoot had a miscommunication and neither could make a successful play, allowing the play to go for a hit, and that opened the floodgates. The Colonials sent 10 men to the plate and six of them scored.
Liam Roden relieved Barbery to close out the second and restored order, allowing VMI to get back in the game. The Keydets got four runs back in the fourth, with the big blow being a two-run single by Pita, and VMI was down only 6-4.
A RBI single by Smoot made it 6-5 in the fifth, and after GW got a run back in the sixth, VMI took the lead for good in the bottom half. With one out, Pita, Tyler Tharp and Collin Fleischer each singled, with Fleischer's single scoring Pita to make it a one-run game at 7-6. Maddox then drove a 1-2 pitch to the wall in center for a double, scoring both runners to give the Keydets the lead for good. VMI would add two more runs in the inning to take a 10-7 lead.
The Keydets added a run in the seventh on Malbon's RBI single, and after Chapman's solo homer in the eighth, put the game on ice in the bottom half. A RBI single by Pita and a RBI triple by Tharp accounted for the final margin, 13-8.
14 total pitchers saw action as the teams combined to throw 335 pitches in the three hour, 53 minute contest. Five VMI relievers, however, combined for 7 1/3 innings of two-run, six-hit baseball, and among those, Ryan Bennett picked up the victory (1-0). Bennett allowed one run in 2 1/3 innings. Mason Adamson got the last four outs of the game for his second save.
Jaret Edwards gave up the go-ahead runs in the VMI sixth and was charged with the loss to fall to 0-2.
VMI baseball will return to action Friday, when the Keydets open a series against Quinnipiac at Gray-Minor Stadium. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.