Baseball snaps No. 12 Spiders 8-game streak

VCU Baseball avoided being swept in the final game of a three game series against No. 12 cross-town rival University of Richmond. A rally sparked by junior center fielder Eric Latura propelled the Rams, who were struggling, to a 9-4 victory.

Latura went a strong three-for-four, driving in two runs for the Rams and helping the team snap the Spiders’ eight-game winning streak. With the win, VCU moves up to 16-5 and U of R drops to 13-2.

Senior left fielder Jose Pabon drove in two runs with a single in the seventh inning to break the tie and open up the Rams.

Three VCU pitchers combined for a total of six and two-thirds scoreless innings. Junior Brian Marshall tallied a win, with two and a third perfect innings. Freshman Jon Link and sophomore Cla Meredith each had two and a third scoreless innings to help the team with the comeback victory. Marshall, who is now 1-1 for the season, struck out four of the seven U of R batters he faced. Marshall has not allowed a run in the last 14 1/3 innings he has pitched.

VCU was trailing 4-2 going into the bottom of the sixth. The Rams had the bases loaded, thanks to two walks by U of R’s Derek Ducios and a catcher’s interference call, when Latura hit his game-tying single up the middle, driving in sophomore catcher Jeff Parrish and freshmen Joe Meador. In the seventh inning, Pabon drove in teammates Danny Lopaze and Nick Jones to put the Rams up by two. In the bottom of the eighth, VCU put away three more runs to seal the deal against U of R.

U of R scored first in the game. In the second inning, Spiders’ catcher Adam Tidball hit a double off VCU starter Matt Prendergast. The double sent home senior left fielder Michael Galligan and junior right fielder Chris Dolan. In the bottom of the second, the Rams responded with one run.

The Spiders grabbed two more runs in the third. Singles by sophomore first baseman Jim Fasano and junior center fielder A. J. Board put runners on base. A bunt then put Galligan on first and loaded the bases. Dolan had a sacrifice fly that drove in one. Tidball drove home Board with a grounder, which gave the Spiders a 4-1 lead.

The Spiders’ senior pitcher Mike McGirr gave up two runs on four hits. McGirr stuck out six VCU batters in the first five innings of play.

In the first game of the three game series, VCU saw their 13-game winning streak broken. U of R scored three times in the top of the second inning to lead them to the 4-1 victory against VCU.

In the second game the Spiders defeated VCU 2-1. U of R was led by junior ace Tim Stauffer. Stauffer allowed only four hits and struck out nine in the complete-game performance. Stauffer dueled with sophomore Justin Orenduff who struck out 13 hitters in six and one-third innings. Orenduff held U of R to a single hit until the bottom of the sixth.

The Rams’ next game is Friday at 7 p.m. at The Diamond. VCU will face UNC Wilmington.

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