VCU baseball stayed hot against conference foe St. Bonaventure, taking the first two games of the weekend series.
The Rams competed in a three-game series with the Bonnies, winning the opener in a close matchup, 6-5.
After a defensive first inning, the Rams took an early lead in the bottom of the second when senior outfielder Jimmy Kerrigan crossed home plate on a throwing error by Bonnies shortstop Cole Patterson on an errant double play attempt.
However, sophomore starting pitcher Sean Thompson struggled to keep St. Bonaventure off the board by allowing five runs and 11 hits in 4.2 innings of work.
Junior pitcher Matt Jamer entered the game in relief and pitched 2.1 solid innings, only allowing one hit and striking out three. Junior closer Sam Donko notched the Atlantic 10 Conference best ninth save, as he shut the door on St. Bonaventure in the top of the ninth inning to close out the game.
A game defined by lead changes, the Rams rode the bats of Kerrigan, who went 3-4 with a RBI and solo home run and Nick Rabat had a three-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning, giving the Rams the lead to prevail against St. Bonaventure, notching a win in its first conference matchup.
The Rams were back in action Saturday as they improved to 2-0 in the A-10, marking their fourth consecutive win.
In a game where base hits and runs were hard to come by, the Bonnies got out to a quick, two-run lead in the top of the second inning. In the bottom of the second, VCU responded by scoring on a passed ball by St. Bonaventure catcher Tommy LaCongo.
After the score was tied in the second, the game turned into a pitchers duel. Junior Brooks Vial got the start for VCU and had a quality outing. The junior pitcher pitched 6.1 innings while surrendering only two earned runs and posted eight strikeouts.
Jamer came in for relief and improved to 4-1 loss on the season. He tossed five shutout innings, allowing only one three hits and striking out three. St. Bonaventure had a difficult time advancing runners across home plate with a staggering total of leaving 12 men on base during the course of the game.
The game reached its conclusion when freshman third baseman Brody Cook stepped up in a clutch role in the bottom of the 12th inning and had his veteran moment. Cook roped a single into center field allowing designated hitter Haiden Lamb to come across and score, ending the game in walk off fashion.
VCU has improved to 9-2 losses at home, with its win in game two of the weekend series again St. Bonaventure which marks their fourth win in a row at the Diamond.
The Rams will be back in action March 27 with a chance to sweep the series. The game is planned to start at 1 p.m.
Rodney Robinson, Contributing Writer