Baseball Outlasts VMI to Take Series from Keydets
Feb. 24, 2008
LEXINGTON, Va. - A seven-run third inning helped lead the Lafayette baseball team to an 11-9 win over VMI on Sunday afternoon in Lexington, Va. The Leopards scored 11 runs in the first three innings of the game and hung on for their second win of the season. After dropping the opening game of the series, Lafayette took the final two games of the series against the Keydets.
Six players recorded multiple hits, led by Joe Ezekiel and Jeff Butler, who both had three. Ezekiel also added two RBI while Butler scored two runs. Leadoff hitter Chris Luick went 2-for-5 on the day, scored two runs and also had an RBI. The Leopards held a 16-13 edge in hits.
Ryan Hanna started the game for the Leopards. The junior pitched five innings and gave up six runs and struck out two to earn the win. Relievers Mike LeClerc-Spier and Tyler Chromey combined to pitch the final four innings. LeClerc-Spier surrendered two runs in three-plus innings of work and Chromey pitched the final inning for the Leopards. The pitchers did not surrender a walk in the game.
Lafayette (2-1) opened the game by scoring four runs on five hits. Luick and Daniel Bierce hit back-to-back singles and Tom Hayes reached on a fielder's choice, sending Luick to third. Ezekiel followed with the inning's third single to score Luick and give Lafayette the early 1-0 lead. A Tom Ambrosole walk loaded the bases and Jeff Butler's single plated Hayes. A bunt by Ryan Roberts scored Butler and Ambrosole after a throwing error by VMI pitcher Lefty Flora as Lafayette scored four runs before the Keydets came to the plate.
VMI scored two runs of its own in the bottom of the inning after a leadoff double by Shane Geisslinger and two singles by Mike Roberts and Tanner Biagini.
The Leopards offense struck again in the third inning as they scored seven runs, all with two outs. Butler's single jumpstarted the scoring as he and Nick Tucker came around to score on a Rob Froio single. Luick's ensuing single to center plated Roberts, forcing VMI to go to its bullpen.
Hayes' single to left with the bases loaded resulted in two more Lafayette runs. Ezekiel's second hit of the game scored Bierce and the Keydets made their second pitching change of the afternoon. Ambrosole's hit scored Hayes for the inning's seventh and final run and made the score 11-2.
After giving up the two early runs, Hanna kept the Keydets off the scoreboard until the fourth inning. VMI opened with two-consecutive hits and Biagini scored on a fielding effort by Roberts to make the score 11-3 but Hanna struck out Brian Sandridge with two runners on base to prevent any further damage.
VMI scored three more runs off of Hanna in the fifth inning after a three-run homerun by Sandridge, cutting Lafayette's lead to five (11-6).
LeClerc-Spier relieved Hanna in the sixth inning and held VMI without a run until the bottom of the eighth. The Keydets scored one run on one hit but LeClerc-Spier forced pinch-hitter Graham Sullivan to fly out to right field and preserve the 11-7 Lafayette lead.
VMI threatened in the bottom of the ninth when LeClerc-Spier hit the Geisslinger to lead off the inning. Chromey came in from the bullpen but Geisslinger came around to score on a wild pitch. A Biagini single up the middle scored Thane Smith to make the score 11-9 but Chromey recorded the final out to secure the Lafayette victory.
The Leopards are back in action when they travel to Norfolk for a three-game series on March 1-2.
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