VCU’s men’s baseball team (13-12) started the season hot, winning nine of their first 12.
The Rams then promptly lost their next seven in a row, albeit with three being against a nationally ranked powerhouse in Western Kentucky, before sweeping Northeastern to open up conference play this past weekend.
Since then, the rollercoaster ride of results has rolled on with the Rams dropping two results in as many days versus ACC foe Maryland and Big South representative Liberty University.
VCU rode their four-game winning streak to College Park Tuesday to take on the Terrapins in what was the Rams only action against an ACC opponent this season.
Head coach Paul Keyes started freshman Kyle Haynes (Stafford/Mountain View), who was 1-0 on the season going into the game, and the Rams took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning before Maryland knotted the score up in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly.
VCU went back up by a run in the third after Richard Gonzalez (Caguas, Puerto Rico/PRBA) drove in Greg Fujii (San Jose, Ca. /San Jose City College) but Maryland tied it up again in the bottom of the frame.
The Terps took a one-run lead in the fourth after an error by Joe Van Meter (Oyster Bay. N.Y.), who was named co-CAA player of the week after his Herculean performance in the series versus Northeastern, allowed a runner to get on base who eventually was driven in.
VCU’s dismal night behind the plate – the Rams had just six hits on the night – left the team with virtually no chance of a comeback and the result was put out of doubt after a disastrous eighth inning. Two errors and two bases-loaded walks resulted in three runs and left VCU heading back to Richmond 7-2 losers.
However, with VCU’s original match up with the Liberty Flames rained out and rescheduled for the day after the Maryland game, the Rams were afforded the opportunity of redemption just 24 hours later.
Redshirt sophomore Mike Graham (Fairfax Station/South County Secondary), who missed his Sunday start versus Northeastern after falling ill, got the start versus Liberty’s Cameron Giannini, who was making only his second start in his freshman campaign.
VCU fell behind in the first frame 2-0 and after the top of the third, trailed 4-0. The Rams clawed their way back to within striking distance after plating a single run in both the third and four innings to make it 4-2.
The fifth innings saw both teams score a run respectively, before the Flames put the result out of reach in the sixth with a two-run home run.
VCU got one more run back through Gonzalez, but ultimately lost to the tune of 7-4. The result marked the second game in a row in which VCU could only muster six hits while it gave up eight to Maryland and 14 to Liberty.
VCU will return to conference action at home this weekend in a three-game set against William & Mary before playing a non-conference match against cross-town rivals Richmond next Tuesday.