Winder and Keydets Knock off UNCG, 7-3, in Game One
Lexington, Va. – Excellent VMI pitching combined with four Keydet home runs prove to be too much, as the VMI knocks off UNCG 7-3 in game one of the SoCon series.
Junior pitcher Bryce Hensley (Asheville, N.C./Catawba Valley CC) got the start for UNCG. The right-hander went 3.2 innings and gave up five earned runs on seven hits. His 3.2 innings worked matched his shortest start this year, (vs. Western Carolina on March 25). With the loss Hensley falls to 6-5 on the year.
Right-hander Josh Winder opposed Hensley; the VMI sophomore tossed 8.1 innings allowing two earned runs and struck out 10 to pickup the victory. With the win Winder improved to 6-4 on the year.
“Winder pitched beautifully tonight and we couldn't match it on our end on the mound and it took us a long time to figure out a way to compete against Winder,” said head coach Link Jarrett. “He had good fastball command, he had good command of his slider, he had command of a cut-fastball and he pitched to both sides of the plate so he was really, really impressive. I thought it was one of the best, if not the best performance against us on the mound all year.”
Jack Maynard (Crozet, Va./Patrick Henry CC) relieved Hensley; the junior went 2.1 innings, gave up two earned runs and struck out four Keydets. Sophomore Jake Lewis (Wendell, N.C./Corinth Holders) capped the night with 2.0 innings pitched, gave up two hits, didn't allow a run and tallied two strikeouts.
“Maynard came in and got us out of some trouble and Lewis pitched good but we made too many mistakes and they did damage,” said Jarrett. “When you allow them to hit that many balls out of the ballpark that's not gonna allow you to matchup with the quality of what Winder Pitched.”
With two hits on the evening freshman Caleb Webster (Randleman, N.C./Randleman) recorded his 21st multiple hit game of the season, the second most on the team. Ben Spitznagel (Cincinnati, Ohio/Wabash Valley CC) finished 2-for-4 for his 18th multiple hit game of the year.
The Keydets began the scoring in the bottom of the first frame. Hensley recorded the first two outs in the inning before hitting Peyton Maddox with a pitch. Once aboard Tyler Tharp hit a two-run home run to give the Keydets a 2-0 lead after the first.
Michael Goss led off the bottom of the second inning with a single to left field. Goss advanced the third with the help of a Webster bunt single and a Keydet error. Austin Embler (Southern Pines, N.C./Pinecrest) capitalized in the RBI-situation slashing a sacrifice fly to left field driving in Goss to cut the deficit to 2-1.
A pair of VMI home runs in the third extended the hosts lead out to 5-1. Peyton Maddox struck first with a two-run homer to left. Tharp followed with a solo shot to dead-center field, his second home run of the game.
The hosts tacked on a run via the long ball in the sixth, this time Michael Diodato launched a solo shot to the mountainous backdrop in left field.
Tharp added another home run in the fifth, his third of the game, with a towering solo shot to right field. The home run extended the Keydets edge to five runs, 6-1.
Tripp Shelton blasted a two-run home run to center field in the ninth to get the Spartans within four, 7-3. The Spartans put two more base runners on in the ninth, but a double play ended the rally.
“Tough game obviously we didn't play well enough to beat Winder the way he pitched tonight but we have two more opportunities to come back and try to win the series,” Jarrett said.
The two teams will continue the series tomorrow at Gray-Minor Stadium, with first pitch slated for 6 p.m.