William Kinney homered on the first pitch he saw Friday night and The Citadel baseball team cruised to a 5-0 win over long-time rival VMI to open a three-game, Southern Conference series at Gray-Minor Stadium.
The shutout over the Keydets (10-13, 1-3 SoCon) is the second of the season for the Bulldogs (12-12, 3-1 SoCon), who opened the 2018 campaign with a 3-0 shutout of George Mason back on Friday, Feb. 16.
Kinney was one of six Bulldogs to log multiple hits in the game as he went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and the one RBI off his homerun to right-center field in the top of the first. He has had an extra-base hit in each of the last four games, including all three games last weekend against Western Carolina.
Jeffery Brown, Bryce Leasure, Jonathan Sabo, Ben Peden and Andrew Judkins also recorded two hits on the evening with Leasure adding a pair of RBIs.
In the top of the third, Leasure doubled down the right field line to extend the Bulldog lead out to 3-0 as Brown and Kinney both scored off the hit. Two at-bats later, Peden singled through the right side to score Leasure.
In the top of the eighth inning, Peden rounded out the scoring when he scored off a wild pitch by Corey Johnston.
A week after pitching a complete game against Western Carolina, Dylan Spence (W, 2-2) went seven innings that saw him scatter six hits and three walks compared to seven strikeouts. Jordan Buster, the reigning SoCon Pitcher of the Week, closed out the game with two scoreless innings where he struck out four batters while giving up just one walk and no hits. The two Bulldog hurlers held the Keydets to just six hits over the nine innings.
Josh Winder (L, 1-4) pitched the first 7.1 frames for the Keydets before giving way to Johnston. Winder gave up nine of the Bulldogs' 12 hits and all five runs while striking out seven batters. Johnston fanned two batters.
Game-two of the series will feature a 2 p.m. first pitch on Saturday, March 31 and the series finale will begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 1.