Lexington, Va. -- VMI scored six straight runs to break open a 3-3 tie game and defeat the Youngstown State baseball team 9-4 on Friday evening at Gray-Minor Stadium.
YSU led 2-0 early and tied the score at 3-3 with a run in the top of the fifth. The Keydets then scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth, a run in the sixth and two more in the eighth.
YSU senior first baseman continued his hot streak by going 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Jason Shirley was 2-for-4 and scored twice, and Phil Lipari added two hits. Jacob Morley had three hits and drove in three runs for VMI.
After Shirley reached on a one-out single in the first, Banks gave the Penguins a jolt with a two-run home run the opposite way to left. VMI got three runs in the third, two of which came on an Andrew Montague home run, to take its first lead at 3-2.
Shirley singled to start the offense again in the fifth, and he scored the tying run one batter later when Banks doubled down the right-field line. The next three hitters went in order, and VMI got help from a Banks error in the bottom half of the inning. YSU starter Blake Aquadro stuck out the leadoff man, but Matt Winn reached on Banks's error. A double advanced him to third, and Morley made the score 5-3 on a two-run single. Morley later scored on a sacrifice fly that put the Keydets up 6-3.
A two-out RBI single from Winn upped VMI's lead to 7-3 in the sixth, and RBI singles from Winn and Morley in the eighth made the score 9-3.
Jake Kucek singled in Lipari with two outs in the ninth for YSU's final run.
Coby Cowgill, who entered the game with a 1.71 ERA in his first three starts, allowed three runs on six hits and three walks in five innings to earn the win. John Garrett allowed just one run and fanned five over the final four innings to earn his first save. Aquadro was charged with five earned runs in six innings in a losing effort for YSU.
The Penguins and Keydets will play again Saturday at 2 p.m.