Baseball sweeps Cleveland State in weekend series

Adam Stern
Assistant Sports Editor

Though VCU went into this past weekend’s three-game set against Cleveland State with a record of 4-3, despite a winning record, the Rams were still looking for their first complete performance of the season.

This weekend, the Rams finally got the performances they were so badly itching for on the way to sweeping Cleveland State in three games, VCU’s first series sweep this season.

Freshman pitcher Blake Hauser (Chesterfield/Manchester) started his first winning streak as a college pitcher after picking up the win in the first game of the series. The Chesterfield native, who was named CAA rookie of the week this week after allowing only one run in seven innings last week against Fairfield, mirrored that performance by giving up only one run in seven innings again to get the win.

Sophomore Kyle Pelchy (Yorktown/Grafton), who has been used mainly as a first reliever for head coach Paul Keyes this season, almost gave up the lead after allowing four of the first five batters in the ninth to reach base.

However, the right-handed pitcher recovered to strike out the final Viking player to give VCU a 6-5 victory.

In the second game of the series, the Rams rode the hot batting of Joe Van Meter (Oyster Bay N.Y/St. Dominic) and Richard Gonzalez (Caguas, Puerto Rico/PRBA) to jump out to an 8-3 lead by the end of the fourth inning. Cleveland State responded by tabling four runs to pull it within a run but VCU ensured their winning streak would go on by adding two insurance runs in the eighth and went on to win 10-7.

Mike Graham (Fairfax Station/South County Secondary) picked up his second straight win of the season after going five innings strong but the southpaw still has a sky high 9.00 ERA after three outings this season. Senior Robbie Andrews (Covington/Alleghany) got his third save of the season by closing out the Vikings over the final two innings.

In the third game of the series, VCU rode its best hitting day yet to ensure the Rams picked up their first win in a series’ finale this season—this time with the biggest win of the season: 13-1.

Joe Van Meter not only got the save as a pitcher but also went 3-4 from the plate and was a homerun away from going for the cycle. Seth Cutler-Coltz (Richmond/Henrico) got the win on the mound and is now 2-0 this season after going eight innings strong while only allowing one run in the process. The Henrico product also broke a career record for strikeouts, totaling 10 while walking none.

With the sweep, VCU improved to 7-3 while Cleveland State dropped to 1-8.
VCU will return to the Diamond on Tuesday when they face division III neighbors Randolph Macon before facing Northeast Conference representatives Quinnipiac, who are 0-3 so far this year.

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