VMI Falls to Charleston Southern, 8-1
Courtesy: VMIKeydets.com
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LEXINGTON, Va. – Nick Dwyer hit his second collegiate home run, but the Charleston Southern Buccaneers led wire to wire en route to an 8-1 win over the VMI Keydets in Big South baseball action Saturday evening at Gray-Minor Stadium. The loss eliminated VMI from contention for a spot in the upcoming Big South Championship tournament. 

After CSU (19-30,10-10 Big South) took an early 3-0 lead, Dwyer hit a one-out solo home run to straightaway center field, victimizing Buc starter Charlie McCready. It was the second long ball of the year for the freshman, both of which have come in home games over the last two weeks.

Unfortunately for the Keydets (15-33, 7-16 BSC), that was their lone run of the night, and CSU went on to score two runs in both the fourth and sixth innings, in addition to a run in the ninth to take the 8-1 victory.

McCready picked up the win for the Bucs, allowing just two hits and one run. He walked four and struck out five over six innings as he moved to 4-4. Campbell Henkel (1-5) took the loss, surrendering four earned runs over 3 2/3 innings. Zach Hagaman picked up the save for CSU, allowing just one hit over the final three frames.

The visitors jumped ahead in the first, when Bobby Ison led off with a single. After a fielder’s choice, Chase Shelton singled and a fly ball moved up the lead runner. That runner then scored when Dwyer could not come up with a ground ball to short, allowing CSU to take the 1-0 lead.

That margin grew to 3-0 in the second, when Thomas Levander walked with one out. He moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored when Drew Woodall doubled off the center field wall. One out later, John Faircloth hit a ground ball in the hole between first and second base. Drew Bryan ranged far to his left and was able to snare the grounder, but not in time to retire Faircloth at first. The infield hit scored Woodall, and made it a 3-0 contest.

Dwyer’s home run came in the second inning, and VMI threatened again in the third. Drew Bryan walked, and Rob Dickinson replaced him at first after a fielder’s choice. Dickinson then stole second and George Piccirilli walked. A Jacob Morley fly out moved Dickinson to third, and Piccirilli stole second to put runners at second and third. Matt Winn then walked to load up the bases, but McCready struck out Dwyer on a 1-2 pitch to escape the threat.

CSU quickly added to its lead in the fourth, as with two out, Ison doubled to right center. Faircloth then hit a 3-2 pitch over the left field wall for his fourth home run of the year, and a 5-1 Charleston Southern lead. Adam Lopez relieved and escaped further damage, but the Bucs tacked on two runs off the senior in the sixth. Woodall drew a one-out walk and Ison singled. A slow roller moved both runners up, and after a seven-pitch at-bat, Shelton singled up the middle to score both runners and put CSU up, 7-1.

The Keydets could get no closer the rest of the way, and the Bucs added a run in the ninth to account for the final margin.

The top three hitters in the CSU order led the way by going 8 for 14 combined, and driving in five of their team’s eight runs. No Keydet posted more than one hit on the day. 

VMI and Charleston Southern will conclude their series Sunday at Gray-Minor Stadium, with the first pitch set for 1 p.m. Prior to the game, VMI’s eight seniors will be honored via on-field ceremonies.