After opening the season with the best start in school at history at 20-3, the Rams dropped their last three.
After inclement weather canceled two out of the three games in a series at George Mason University, the Rams fell to the Patriots 6-1 on Friday March 28.
The Rams took an early one run lead in the first inning on a Vimael Machin RBI fielders choice but Daniel Concepcion was tagged with his second loss of the season after giving up six earned runs in the first three innings. Eight of GMU’s nine starters all recorded hits and starting pitcher Anthony Montefusco gave up only one earned run over eight innings pitched.
Despite the lack of scoring, the Rams still managed to record eleven hits. A sixth-inning triple by Bill Cullen brought into a tie with Erik Sauve for career triples at eighteen.
“George Mason has a veteran team and we let them control the at-bats in the middle part of the game,” head coach Shawn Stiffler told VCU Athletics. “They strung at bats together pretty well in those second and third innings and that was the difference today.”
VCU finished their abbreviated road trip at the University of Maryland with a 5-2 loss on Tuesday April 1. Despite once again taking the early lead on a Machin RBI in the first, the pitching staff lost control of their pitches, walking in three bases-loaded runs in the sixth innings amidst seven total walks. JoJo Howie was the losing pitcher and charged with four earned runs. Thomas Gill, who lasted only a third of an inning in relief, was also charged with an earned run. Machin later recorded a second RBI in the eighth.
“When you go out and play great competition against some of the best teams in the toughest conferences in the country you just can’t give away free base,” Stiffler told VCU Athletics. “I think we did a little too much of that today and that cost us.”
VCU saw a valiant comeback fall short against Virginia Military Institute falling 8-6 in thirteen innings. After the Keydets tagged Daniel Concepcion for five runs in the fifth inning the Rams battled back and tied it up in the bottom of the ninth off a Trevor Marino RBI single. After three scoreless extra innings, VMI’s Jordan Tarsovich ripped a bases clearing triple off Matt Lees to put VMI back on top. The Rams could only muster one run as an answer off a Machin RBI double.
“I’m very impressed by the way we continued to battle the whole night,” Stiffler said. “We continue to show heart each time out and I’m excited to get back at it this weekend”.
The Rams are now 3-1 in conference play and tied with GMU for third in the conference. They will welcome Saint Joseph’s University in a three game series over the weekend.