VMI Falls in Doubleheader Opener, 6-4
Courtesy: VMIKeydets.com
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LEXINGTON, Va. – Ben McQuown went 5 for 5, including the game-turning single in the sixth inning, as the Campbell Camels defeated the VMI Keydets, 6-4, in the opener of a Big South doubleheader Friday at Gray-Minor Stadium.

With VMI (11-26, 4-12 Big South) nursing a 4-3 lead, Campbell (32-8, 9-4 Big South) loaded the bases with one out against Keydet starter Coby Cowgill (5-3). On the eighth pitch of the at-bat, McQuown lined a hard ground ball through the left side for a hit, scoring Bryce Grady from third base to tie the game. The ball skittered past left fielder Eric Mayers for an error, allowing two additional runners to score as well and Campbell to take its final margin of victory, 6-4.

McQuown posted five hits for Campbell, his first career game with five base hits, while Jacob Morley and Rob Dickinson had home runs for VMI. Cowgill took the loss on the mound, falling to 5-3 after giving up six runs (four earned) over 5 1/3 innings. Matt Sergey earned the victory for CU, moving to 5-0 with seven innings of work, during which he surrendered four runs. Ryan Mattes notched his fourth save, thanks to two perfect innings of relief.

“I was really proud of the way we competed in both games tonight,” said VMI head coach Marlin Ikenberry. “Going to class all day and then coming out and playing 18 innings of baseball isn't easy, and we did a good job. In game one, we had chances in the middle innings to extend the lead and didn't. I thought Coby pitched fairly well, and I was excited to see Reed Garrett and Michael Devine come out of the bullpen and put up zeros. We had two errors that cost us three runs, and that was the difference in the game.”

The Keydets struck first against Sergey on the clear day, with temperatures in the upper-60’s. George Piccirilli doubled with one out in the first inning, and Morley followed by hitting a 2-0 pitch over the scoreboard in left field for his eighth home run of the year. The long ball put VMI up, 2-0.

Campbell struck for a run in the third, as with two out, McQuown started a rally with an infield hit. He then stole second, and after a walk, scored on a RBI double by Jake Kirkland. Cowgill induced a groundout to end the frame, however, escaping further damage, and the Keydets expanded the lead in the third. Matt Winn led off the inning with a sharp single to left, and Dickinson blasted a 2-1 pitch over the right field wall for his third home run of the year, pushing the VMI margin to 4-1. The Keydets, however, had a runner at second with only one out in the inning, and could not add a fifth run.

The Camels cut the margin to one in the fifth, as a balk and a wild pitch helped the visitors notch two runs in the inning. Grady then led off the sixth with a single to right, and one out later, Cam’Ron Summers was hit by a pitch. Jimmy Brenneman then walked, loading the bases and setting the stage for McQuown’s tie-breaking single.

Despite both teams threatening over the remainder of the contest, neither could push another run across, accounting for the 6-4 CU margin of victory.