Behind Haynes and Lenherr, baseball crushes Quinnipiac

Taylor Howsmon

Sports Editor

VCU baseball began its game with Quinnipiac University Wednesday in search of its fifth consecutive victory and 7-2 record on its first home stand of the season.

This matinee came after the Rams pulverized the Yellow Jackets of Randolph Macon 12-0 on Tuesday night behind 18 hits for the second consecutive game.

It seemed VCU’s 8-3 record would improve because the Bobcats, from Hamden, Conn., came into the day 0-5 on the season.

VCU’s ninth win would come Wednesday, as the VCU baseball team slaughtered the Bobcats, 20-3, setting season highs for hits (20) and runs (20).

“We played pretty well; we made a couple cheap errors … but up and down the lineup I thought the guys did a really good job,” said VCU coach Paul Keyes.

The Rams sent freshman righty Kyle Haynes (Stafford/Mountain View) to the mound in search of his first career win.

The 6’ 2” rookie would eventually settle in after a somewhat rocky start and earn that first win, going six full innings and only surrendering three hits and striking out seven in his second career start.

Although Haynes was great on the mound, he received more than enough help from his offense, which banged out 20 hits and scored at least two runs in six different innings.

Transfer John Lenherr (Windham, Kan./Hutchinson) got things going in the first after two teammates, M.L. Morgan (Petersburg/Dinwiddie) and Joe Van Meter (Oyster Bay, NY/St. Dominic), reached base.

Lenherr poked one into right field and the two Rams on base crossed to give VCU the 2-0 lead.

The offense was far from done as the Rams would put up three runs over the next four innings.

VCU would take two in the second on a wild pitch and a fielder choice and then one more on a sacrifice fly by Morgan.

In the third the Rams got a two-run homerun to left field from Paul Nice (Powhatan/Powhatan) with two out to make the score 8-0.

VCU scored three more in the fourth on a single by Doug Otto (Jefferson City, Mo./Helias), which brought in one and a base knock by Lenherr, who plated two more on his second single.

Through five innings the Rams held an 11-0 lead and Lenherr, who has struggled in the early part of the year since transferring to VCU, had five RBI to his credit, giving him 10 for the season.

“He [note: who?] feels a lot better about him,” Keyes said. “It was good to see Johnny get off a slide a little bit and get moving.”

VCU, with game in hand, made sure there was no chance of any sort of comeback as it rolled through the final four innings and cruised to the 20-3 victory.

VCU, now 9-3, heads south to sunny Florida for three games at the B-CU Invitational at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona.

The Rams will play Bethune-Cookman on Friday and Sunday, and match up with Wagner University on Saturday.

VCU returns home March 16 to take on Norfolk State at The Diamond.

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