Baseball won four consecutive games last week to even its 2017-18 record at 8-8. The Black and Gold took down cross-state rival Norfolk State University 6-4 before sweeping a three-game series against Binghamton University over the weekend.
VCU squeaked out a 2-1 win Saturday behind seven shutout innings of six-hit ball from senior ace Sean Thompson. Junio reliever Benjamin Dum gave up the Bearcats’ sole run in the eighth inning, but followed it up with a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his first save of the season.
Senior infielder Daane Berezo got the scoring started in the bottom of the first. His base-knock snuck through the right side of the infield to score senior outfielder Hayden Lamb. Lamb knocked in the winning run in the bottom of the fifth with a slow roller up the third base line that drew a wild throw to first, allowing sophomore catcher Josh Simon to score from second.
The Black and Gold exploded offensively in the second game of Saturday’s double-header, thrashing Binghamton 18-3 on the strength of 21 hits. Seven runs scored on five RBI singles in the bottom of the fourth effectively put the game out of reach. Lamb and sophomore first baseman Steven Carpenter led VCU with three hits a-piece. Junior shortstop Zac Ching knocked in four runs.
The pitching came out strong Friday afternoon, as sophomore Connor Gillispie, sophomore Sam Ryan, and McCarty combined for a one-hit, one-run effort in VCU’s 3-1 victory over the Binghamton Bearcats to start the weekend series.
VCU got on top in the bottom of the second inning, as sophomore Steven Carpenter got a hold of one and planted a ball down the left field line. Senior Mitchell Lacey would motor all the way around from first base to score, giving the Rams the 1-0 lead.
The Black & Gold scored another run in the bottom of the third, as sophomore Paul Witt put a ball in play that was mis-played by the third baseman. That scored Berezo to put VCU ahead 2-0
Gillispie flew through the first four innings, handing the reins off to Ryan in the fifth. Gillispie did not allow a hit through the first four innings.
Witt and Berezo would combine for another run for VCU in the bottom of the fifth inning, as Witt would find the left center field gap. Berezo would score from second, as the double would be Witt’s second of the season.
Ryan would get into the eighth inning keeping the Bearcats out of the hit column. Then it would be a single with one out by Alex Baratta that would end the no-hit bid. However, Ryan would get outs after the single leaving Binghamton still scoreless after eight innings.
The Bearcats snagged a run in the top of the ninth, but McCarty grabbed both a save and the win.
A big offensive inning in the bottom of the third propelled VCU to a 6-4 victory over the Norfolk State Spartans on Wednesday afternoon. Juniors Michael Dailey and Dum pitched a combined six scoreless innings in the victory, while Lamb and freshman Liam Hibbits collected a pair of hits.
VCU quickly jumped on the board in the bottom of the first inning, as Lamb started with a bunt single. The throw to first went high, allowing Lamb to take second. After Lamb stole third, Berezo lined a ball to center field, scoring Lamb from third and giving the Rams a 1-0 lead.
The black and gold got four runs in the bottom of the third inning, as they loaded the bases with one out. An RBI single by sophomore Brett Willett, two straight hit by pitches, and a wild pitch would bring home the quartet and push the score to 5-0 in favor of VCU.
The Spartans eventually got on the board in the top of the fifth inning with an RBI double from Alsander Womack. It would score two runs, putting the score to 5-2. A sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth would get Norfolk State within two, as the score stood 5-3 going into the back third of the game.
Hibbits extended the lead with an RBI double in the bottom of the seventh inning as it scored Lamb from second base. With the score 6-3 in the top of the ninth, Norfolk State would add a run to bring the score to 6-4. That would be all the Spartans would get, as junior Mac McCarty shut the door and recorded the save.
Baseball will return to action Tuesday at East Carolina University.
Jessica Wetzler, Staff Writer