VCU had a couple of wins over instate rivals that pushed the team to 19-14 on the season and 5-3 in Atlantic 10 conference play.
On April 8, Wednesday’s 10-2 victory over the Old Dominion University Monarchs was the perfect way for VCU to come home to a three-game stand against Atlantic-10 rival George Mason University.
The Rams began the match against ODU with a 2-0 start with runs from sophomore Darian Carpenter and senior infielder Vimael Machin. The two early runs were enough, as the Monarchs were never able to catch up. Three more runs were scored in the third inning, giving VCU a 5-0 lead. ODU’s freshman infielder Zach Rutherford scored the first run of the game for the Monarchs in the bottom of the inning to get them on the board.
The Rams later scored five more runs over ODU and left with a 10-2 victory for the day. Junior outfielder Jimmy Kerrigan led the Rams with three runs as VCU out-hit the Monarchs 12-11.
The Rams began the series against George Mason on Friday with a rough start. The Rams fell 8-1 to the Patriots in the opening game after a five run display from Mason’s lineup in the sixth.
Freshman outfielder Tyler Nelin got GMU on the board first with a solo homerun in the second. The Rams responded when Carpenter’s double brought junior outfielder Cody Acker around to home to tie the score at 1-1 for VCU.
One inning later, the Patriots shattered VCU’s hopes with five straight runs, starting with another homerun from junior shortstop Brandon Gum. Freshman outfielder Brady Acker drove in two more runs with a double, and Nelin added two more runs with another homer for the Patriots.
George Mason finished with a victory over VCU, with Nelin and junior infielder Kent Blackstone both leading the Patriots with two runs apiece. VCU’s head coach Shawn Stiffler discussed in a post-game interview the importance for his team to get off to a hot start in their next outing.
“We swung the bats well through the first half of the game but when it came time to execute we just weren’t able to move the baseball,” Stiffler said. “The guys have to be ready to go tomorrow.”
The Rams came out the next day and avenged the loss with a 9-1 victory over the Patriots. The Rams, after two innings, jumped out to a 7-0 advantage. Sophomore infielder/outfielder Logan Farrar blasted a solo homerun in the first inning to start things off for the Rams.
VCU was the team with the superb hitting display in the rematch with six runs in the second. Sophomore infielders Matt Davis, Farrar and Acker all scored two runs for VCU. George Mason’s only run came from Gum in the eighth inning to avoid a 9-0 shutout.
With the win the Rams improved their record to 19-14, and are now 5-3 in the A-10. Baseball next travels to Lexington, Virgina to take on Virginia Military Institute Tuesday, April 14.