SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Gardner-Webb fell behind early Sunday afternoon, and couldn’t completely recover to fall, 16-10, to No. 29 VMI for the third time in three days.


The Keydets (28-5, 10-2 Big South) went up 5-0 with another quick burst in the top of the first inning, getting RBI hits from Graham Sullivan, Alex Haitsuka and Jacob Morley – with Haitsuka and Morley driving in a pair each as the visitor’s sent nine men to the plate.


Gardner-Webb (15-16, 5-4 Big South) responded with a pair of runs in the second and another in the third to trim the lead to 5-3, but VMI plated three runs in the third, another run in the fourth, three in the fifth, two in the sixth and two in the seventh to pull away.


The Diamond ‘Dogs had three-run rallies in the sixth and eighth – with Kurt Fulginiti belting a three-run homer in the eighth for the final margin.


Emilio Pagan (1-1) took the loss, allowing 10 hits and nine earned runs in 3.1 innings of work.


Two-way standout Sam Roberts (5-1) earned the win, going 5.0 innings and allowing just two earned runs on eight hits – and went 2-for-6 at the plate with an RBI. The Keydets rapped out 19 hits, with Cory Spangenberg (4-for-6, 3 RBI) and Haitsuka (4-for-5, 5 RBI) pacing that effort.


Gardner-Webb got three hits each from Aaron Miller (3-for-4), Fulginiti (3-for-5, HR, 4 RBI) and Adam McFarland (3-for-5, RBI) to lead a 12-hit offensive display. Jake Watts (2-for-3, 2 runs, 2B) also had a pair of hits for the ‘Dogs.


Gardner-Webb will travel to North Carolina A&T on Wednesday at 6:00 pm before returning home to host 12th-ranked Coastal Carolina on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Forest City, N.C. (McNair Field).