Rams Rolling in Conference

Photo by Ali Jones
Photo by Ali Jones

IMG_5705

Zach Joachim
Contributing Writer

After dropping consecutive mid-week games, baseball got back on track by winning 2-3 in a weekend series against Dayton University.

The Rams came out on top in the Friday nightcap by a score of 9-2.

VCU’s starting pitcher Sean Thompson was dominant throughout the game. The sophomore improved his record to a conference leading 5-0, hurling six innings of shut-out ball while compiling six strikeouts, only allowing five Flyers to reach base.

A five-run third inning by the Rams gave Thompson more than enough support to come away with the victory.

Shortstop Matt Davis connected on a one-out single with the bases loaded to bring in a run and start the rally. Three critical errors by Flyer defenders allowed the lead to swell to 5-0 and the Rams would not look back.

Centerfielder Logan Farrar led the offense with a team high three base-knocks. Davis finished with three RBI’s after adding a double in the fourth inning. Outfielder Jimmy Kerrigan continued to turn heads at the plate with a 2-3 outing that included two walks, an RBI, two stolen bases and three runs scored.

Dayton turned the tables in the following midday game by defeating VCU 8-3. The loss put a blemish on the Rams previously perfect conference and weekend records.

Kerrigan had stayed comfortable at the plate. Kerrigan alongside fellow outfielder James Bunn and Davis all contributed multi-hit games.

Designated hitter Darian Carpenter has found his groove and continued to swing it well, going 3-4 on the day. Farrar likewise continued a hot streak as he went 2-4 with an RBI.

Dayton pulled away in the top of the sixth with a two-run double by Robbie Doring to make the score 5-2. VCU would never re-gain the lead.

Errors and runners left on base made the difference in this affair. Despite 14 hits by the Rams potent offense, they failed to push men across the plate, leaving 13 runners on.

“We need to get better at capitalizing on mistakes and situational hitting,” Kerrigan said. “It’s just a focus thing. We do a good job of staying confident.”

IMG_5672VCU starting pitcher Brooks Vial gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings pitched, but only two of those runs were earned as three errors behind him allowed the Flyers to capitalize on scoring opportunities.

The Sunday rubber match of the three-game conference set was tight throughout, but the Rams got series finale by a final of 5-3.

Davis led VCU’s offense on the day, going 4-4 with an RBI.

Carpenter provided two clutch hits — an RBI single to center field in the bottom of the first to score second baseman Cooper Mickelson and a sacrifice flyout that scored Kerrigan in the fifth.

Freshman Michael Dailey got credit for the win and continued to impress after a string of solid outings in relief. He finished with five innings pitched and gave up three runs on five hits while walking four and striking out three.

Rams reliever Sam Donk fanned five and yielded only two hits in four innings of shutout work en route to his eleventh save of the season. The junior has been masterful in late game, pressure filled situations this year.

The pair of weekend wins improves the Rams record to 18-10 overall, 5-1 in Atlantic 10 play.

Next up, head coach Shawn Stiffler and company will welcome in-state rival and defending national champions, the University of Virginia Cavaliers, on Tuesday, April 5 at the Diamond. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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