Baseball improved its record to 21-11 last week with a win over Towson University Tuesday and a pair of victories over Dayton University in a Friday doubleheader, but failed to sweep the weekend series, falling to the Flyers in a Sunday matinee.
Dayton – Sunday
VCU dropped its only game of the weekend to Dayton Sunday afternoon in the third and final game of the A-10 series by a final of 6-1.
Sophomore right-hander Sam Ryan took the loss after allowing two runs on five hits in four innings of work. Ryan struck out three Flyers.
Senior infielder Daane Berezo collected VCU’s only RBI on the afternoon. Freshman utility player Hogan Brown and sophomore catcher Josh Simon each doubled. Dayton out-hit the Rams 13-5.
Dayton – Friday (2)
Similarly to game 1 on Friday, the bottom of the seventh was the breakout inning for the Rams. VCU scored five runs as Dayton made four pitching changes in the inning.
Brown opened the scoring in the seventh with an RBI double to center. Ensuing runs came from two errors, a hit by pitch to Berezo with the bases loaded, and a wild pitch.
Sophomore starter Connor Gillispie sailed through six innings of scoreless work, giving up only three hits and striking out eight.
The other bulk of scoring by VCU happened in the bottom of the fifth inning, as sophomore infielder Paul Witt doubled in a pair of runs while Brown notched his first RBI of the game. Brown’s hit drove in Witt to put up a three spot in the inning.
The Black and Gold’s other run came in the bottom of the fourth, as an RBI single from sophomore infielder Brett Willett gave the Rams a 2-0 cushion as Gillispie kept up his strong start to the ballgame.
Dayton’s only run of the ballgame broke up VCU’s shutout in the top of the eighth, as a wild pitch from junior right-hander Jack Alkire brought in the Flyers’ lone run. A leadoff walk and a single set up the opportunity to score in the inning.
Dayton – Friday (1)
VCU did a majority of their damage in the seventh and eighth innings during the first game Friday, scoring a combined six runs to bring in a strong lead. Sparked by a huge RBI triple from Berezo in the seventh, Witt and senior infielder Mitchel Lacey followed suit with RBI singles to put the Rams up 6-1 headed into the eighth inning.
Dayton responded with a three-run score at the top of the eighth to pull back within two runs, as a pair of singles and and a wild pitch brought the score within striking distance at 6-4.
The Rams brought the lead back up to five runs after they responded with three runs in the bottom of the eighth. Back-to-back singles from Simon and Lamb scored a pair, followed by a sacrifice fly from Lacey, extending the lead to 9-4.
Simon’s first RBI of the game opened up the scoring, as an RBI single up the middle put VCU on the board in the bottom of the second.
Dayton tied the game in the fourth, as Connor Echols singled in a run off senior right hander Sean Thompson to tie things at 1-1.
Lacey broke the tie in the bottom of the fifth, jump starting a lead the Rams wouldn’t give back with a double down the line. The hit scored two runs, putting VCU up 3-1 at the time.
Thompson pitched a strong game, going 7.1 innings, scattering seven hits and allowing three runs. He struck out seven in his longest outing of the season to date.
Towson – Tuesday
Baseball started the week swinging, kicking off a new winning streak Tuesday against the Towson Tigers. VCU’s 14-game-streak was snapped last Saturday against St. Louis University.
Wasting no time getting on the board, the Rams opened up with a five-run first inning with back-to-back walks to Lamb and Berezo.
Lacey, Witt, and junior infielder Zac Ching collected a hit a piece, giving the Rams a 3-0 lead without an out. The next two outs came from an RBI groundout by Brown, followed by a sacrifice fly from sophomore infielder Steven Carpenter. By the time Towson was able to get a shot, the Black and Gold had a lead of 5-0.
Towson scored their first run in the bottom of the first, as Richie Palacious sent a solo homerun over the left field fence to make the game 5-1 after one inning. That hit and run were the only ones given up by starter Sam Ryan all game.
A combo of back-to-back-to-back doubles in the top of the sixth gave VCU its sixth and seventh runs of the game. Willett, Simon, and Lamb traveled to second base consecutively, putting up two more runs for the Rams.
The Tigers final run came on a wild pitch in the 6th, as Curtis Bafus lost the grip on a 3-2 fastball. The ball went to the backstop and allowed a runner on third to score.
The game was called after the sixth inning due to weather and poor field conditions, leaving the Rams to walk of the field with a 7-2 win.
Baseball will return to action Wednesday at the Diamond when they welcome Virginia Military Institute to the Capitol for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch.
Jessica Wetzler, Staff writer