Baseball avoids sweep at VMI

Zachary Holden
Staff Writer

The VCU baseball team was in Lexington this weekend for a series against the VMI Keydets looking to bounce back following a loss to Virginia Tech earlier in the week.

After dropping the first two games of the series, VCU took the final game to avoid the weekend sweep.

 

Friday

In the first game of the weekend, VMI took control early scoring five runs in the bottom of the third. Will Dickinson’s home run with two men on base brought in three of the five VMI runs.

VCU would respond with a pair of runs in the fifth inning after a James Bunn double to left-center field drove in Jordan Weymouth and Nick Octavi.

Adding an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth, VMI held on to take Game 1 6-2.

Taylor Buran extended his hit streak to 10 games after his single in the ninth inning, the first double-digit hit streak this season. Pitcher Heath Dwyer tossed his first career complete game, albeit coming in a losing effort, and was charged with his fourth loss of the season.

 

Saturday

The Rams got out to a quick three-run lead to start off the game. Bill Cullen scored following a Joey Cujas double off the center field wall. Cujas scored after a wild toss to second base ended up in the outfield, while Vimael Machin scored after a Buran bunt.

VMI would take a one-run lead by the sixth inning. VCU found the tying run in the eighth inning after back-to-back singles by James Bunn and Cujas gave the Rams runners on base. A big RBI single from Brent Mikionis drove in Bunn.

In the bottom of the ninth, a single from Cameron Walter brought in the game-winning run, giving VMI the narrow 5-4 win.

Buran brought his hit streak to 11 games with his RBI single in the first inning, while Bunn reached base for the 13th straight game.

 

Sunday

A leadoff double from Cullen was the start VCU needed. Two batters later, Cujas singled to left field, bringing in Cullen to give the Rams an early one-run lead.

Immediately responding in the bottom of the first inning, VMI’s Jordan Tarsovich homered to left field to tie the game. Another run was added before the inning ended, giving VMI a 2-1 lead.

In the third, VCU would retake the lead. A Cujas RBI double drove Cullen in for the second time before a Machin sacrifice fly allowed Bunn to score.

A scary moment happened in the fifth inning when Bill Cullen lined a ball directly into pitcher Jeremy Brown’s face that knocked him out briefly. After play resumed, Bunn would score again following a Mikionis single giving the Rams a two-run lead.

Piling on the runs in the ninth inning, Cujas singled to center field driving in his third and fourth RBI’s of the game. Machin added two more RBI’s after a double to left center brought in Cullen and Tom Crimi.

VMI would add a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth, but it wasn’t enough to make up the difference as VCU took the final game of the series 8-4 to avoid the sweep in Lexington.

Buran continued his hit streak – now at 12 games – with a double in the eighth inning. Pitcher Logan Kanuik notched his third win of the season while striking out six batters in 7.2 innings pitched.

The Rams will complete their nine-game road stretch on Tuesday as they travel to Maryland to take on the Terrapins.

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