The Citadel drops series finale to VMI

The Citadel drops series finale to VMI
(Source: AP Stock Graphics)

LEXINGTON, VA - Despite pulling to within one run of VMI in the top of the sixth with three runs scored, The Citadel baseball team fell 12-4 in the series finale to the Keydets at Gray-Minor Stadium.

The Keydets (12-13, 3-3 SoCon) raced out to a four-run lead with three runs in the first and another in the second, and after the game progressed scoreless for three full innings, the Bulldogs (12-14, 3-3 SoCon) managed to plate three runs in the top of the sixth off three hits.

Jeffery Brown led the frame off with a double to right field and William Kinneythen ripped the first pitch he saw to left-center field, giving Brown enough time to round third and race home. Four at-bats later, with two outs on the scoreboard and following a VMI pitching change, Taylor Cothran singled to right-center field and scored Kinney from second with Jonathan Sabo pulling up at third. Sabo scored during the next at-bat off a VMI wild pitch, setting the score at 4-3.

With the Bulldogs closing in, VMI stretched things out with a two-run home run in the bottom of the frame and then set the score at 12-3 with six runs scored in the bottom of the seventh.

Bryce Leasure scored the final run of the afternoon in the top of the eighth off a sacrifice fly to center field by Ryan McCarthy.

Six different Bulldogs combined for The Citadel's six hits on the afternoon while VMI logged 12 hits spread out across seven batters.

Jordan Merritt (L, 2-3) started the game on the mound for the Bulldogs before giving way to Thomas Byelick, Will Pillsbury, Jordan Buster and Kyle Smith. Byelick and Buster each struck out two batters.

Kyle Staats (W, 3-1) earned the win for VMI in 5.1 innings of work that saw him strike out three batters compared to giving up three walks, three hits and three earned runs.

The Citadel will next travel to Statesboro, Georgia on Tuesday, April 3 for a 6 p.m. game at Georgia Southern. The game with the Eagles will mark the second game of a home-and-home series with GS. The Eagles won the first meeting 9-3 back on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at Joe Riley Park.