Eight days after VCU pounded a season high four homeruns and 11 runs in a win against VMI, the Rams completed the season sweep of the Keydets with a 7-3 win at The Diamond Wednesday night.
And eight days after VCU’s star and resident stud Joe Van Meter (Oyster Bay N.Y./Arizona State) tied a school record by hitting three of those home runs, he once again tormented VMI with a dominating performance, including an RBI single in the bottom of the first, another run scored and stole a base, all on top of getting the save as the relief pitcher.
“It’s always better to win going into the weekend then lose,” VCU head coach Paul Keyes said. “We did (the same) last week and it really didn’t help us, but hopefully this will help us.”
The Rams came into the game on the back of a rare 14-14 tie Sunday, part of their first conference series loss of the season at the hands of Georgia State, who moved up from fifth to fourth place in the standings following the series. Meanwhile, the Keydets are in the midst of their best ever season, which was highlighted when they received their first ever national ranking this season at No. 26. However, after the squad started the season 29-5, they’ve seen their hot start cool off considerably and had lost a season-high eight in a row heading into the game.
VCU starting pitcher Ryan Farrar (Mechanicsville/Atlee) avoided a fate every VCU pitcher succumbed to this past weekend in giving up a run (or more) in the first frame. His teammates then blew the game open and never looked back after plating four in the bottom portion of the frame.
Gregory Fujii (San Jose, Calif/San Jose City College) led off the game with a single to center before advancing to second on a wild pitch and scoring on an RBI from senior Matt Leskiw (Plains, Pa./James). Leskiw then scored before two more runners scored off a double by sophomore Paul Nice (Powhatan/Powhatan).
Though VMI would score three by the game’s end, they never got close to VCU’s lead and were down 7-1 before scoring their final two runs in the seventh. The win versus VMI helps better two of the Rams’ notably poor statistics this season, now 5-9 in midweek games and 12-14 in non-conference matchups.
Even after their disappointing weekend against the Panthers, VCU will retain first place going into this weekend’s series against UNC Wilmington in part thanks to second place James Madison playing out-of-conference opponent Kennesaw State, leaving their conference record idle.
The Seahawks come into the series on the back of an embarrassing series loss to Northeastern, who were winless in nine conference games prior. They are currently in fifth place in the CAA, just a game back of the all-important fourth spot.
The Seahawks lead the all-time series between the two 29-38 and last season took two of three from the Rams including a 9-0 thumping in the rubber match Sunday.
VCU at UNC Wilmington
Location: Brooks Field, Wilmington N.C.
Game one: 7 p.m.
Game two: 4 p.m.
Game three: 2 p.m.
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