Saturday, April 21, 2018

VMI's eight-run sixth sinks Paladins

Brandon Elmy hit a pair of two-run home runs Saturday, but
Furman lost at VMI 13-7. Photo courtesy of Furman.
Furman appeared to be righting the ship with a four-run lead in the fifth inning Saturday at VMI, but another middle-inning collapse sunk the Paladins. The Keydets scored eight runs in the fifth inning and four more in the sixth to rally for a 13-7 win, clinching the series victory.

The Paladins (18-21, 3-8 Southern Conference) have lost four of their last five games and allowed 55 runs over that stretch. Saturday's loss came less than 24 hours after VMI (21-17, 9-5) used a nine-run sixth inning to cruise to a 12-1 win in the opening game of the series.

Making his first collegiate start, Furman freshman Jordan Beatson pitched well through the first four innings allowing one run on just two hits. Meanwhile, Brandon Elmy hit a two-run home run in the first and another two-run shot in the fifth to stake the Paladins to a 5-1 lead.

It all fell apart for Furman quickly in the bottom of the fifth. The first five Keydets reached, including home runs by Peyton Maddox and Nathan Eaton. Eaton's three-run shot gave VMI a 6-5 lead and chased Beatson. Heath Hawkins retired the first two batters he faced before the next four reached, highlighted by Matt Dunlevy's three-run homer.

RBI-singles by Bret Huebner and Jason Costa helped Furman cut the lead to 9-7 in the sixth, but VMI answered with four runs in the bottom half. Eaton had a two-run homer and Dunlevy a two-run double to account for the Keydets' runs in the sixth.

That was it for the scoring as Furman left the bases loaded in the seventh and stranded two runners in the eighth.

Huebner went 3-for-4, while Elmy finished with four RBIs, to lead the Paladins. In addition to driving in five runs like Eaton, Dunlevy also had four hits for VMI.

The series wraps up Sunday at 1 p.m.

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