GREENVILLE, S.C. – Second-seeded Wofford College took advantage of two big innings Wednesday and went on to defeat #7 VMI 12-7 in the opening round of the 2019 Southern Conference Championship Baseball Tournament.
Trailing 10-2 after seven complete, VMI scored five in the eighth. Keydet junior Ryan Hatten belted a 391-foot, three-run home run and senior Jake Huggins delivered a two-run double.
VMI’s Callen Nuccio led off the game with a single, and moved to third on a two-base error with one out. Josh Hollifield brought Nuccio home with an RBI groundout. Wofford answered with four in the bottom of the first, three on a single from Alec Cargin with two outs and the bases loaded.
Ryan Smoot was hit by a pitch with two outs in the second and came around to score from first on a Jordan Ebersole double. The Terriers plated one in the bottom of the second to push the lead to 5-2 and scored five runs in the sixth and two insurance runs in the eighth.
VMI starter Zak Kent settled down in the middle innings, facing the minimum number of hitters in the third, fourth and fifth frames. The Keydets left nine runners on base, compared to two for Wofford.
Hollifield ended the day 3-5 with two doubles, while Huggins had two hits and a double. Nuccio had a hit and two walks.
Wofford (34-23) starter Austin Higginbotham worked seven innings for the win, allowing five hits, a walk and one earned run while striking out seven.
VMI (17-40) will play the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) Thursday at 12:30 p.m. in an elimination game.
VMI vs. UNCG - Thursday, May 23 - 12:30 p.m.