LEXINGTON, VA. -- Nathan Eaton homered twice and drove in five runs and VMI stormed back from a four-run deficit with four long balls to power past Furman, 13-7, in Southern Conference baseball action Saturday afternoon at Gray-Minor Stadium.
The win, the seventh straight by VMI (21-17, 9-5 SoCon), gave the Keydets the series win heading into Sunday's 1:00 p.m. series finale.
On the strength of a pair of Brandon Elmy two-run home runs, Furman (18-21, 3-8 SoCon) grabbed a 5-1 lead after four innings, but Paladin freshman right-hander Jordan Beatson, making his collegiate starting debut, ran into trouble in the fifth, yielding a leadoff single to Matt Dunlevy and the first of the Keydets' four home runs, a two-run shot by Peyton Maddox to make it a 5-3 game.
VMI's onslaught continued against Beatson, who surrendered a single and walk ahead of Eaton's first of two clouts, a three-run shot that put the Keydets up 6-5, and Dunlevy capped the eight-run outburst with VMI's third home run of the frame, a three-run blast off Paladin reliever Heath Hawkins to stretch the advantage to 9-5.
After Furman pulled to within 9-7 in the sixth, VMI answered with four more, highlighted by Eaton's second clout of the game, a two-run launch to left center field, and a two-run Dunlevy double.
The Paladins stranded the bases loaded in the seventh and two runners in the eighth.
VMI finished with 15 hits and Furman had 13.
Dunlevy and Eaton drove in five runs apiece on 4-for-5 and 3-for-5 performances, respectively, and Maddox went 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Elmy's two home runs, which gave hiM 25 for his career, moving him into a tie for 10th all-time in home runs in Furman history, highlighted his 2-for-5 worksheet. Bret Huebner went 3-for-4, and Ben Anderson, Jason Costa, and Jabari Richards recorded two hits apiece.
VMI's eight-run fifth inning made a winner of starting pitcher Zak Kent (4-3), who allowed five runs on six hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out five.
Beatson (1-2) took the loss, tagged for six runs on six hits and a walk over four-plus innings of work. He fanned one.
Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information