Baseball struggled to get momentum going this weekend in their series against the Rams of Rhode Island University at Bill Feck Field.
The Rams competed in a three-game series against the URI Rams, but couldn’t get going offensively during the “Battle of the Rams opener,” ultimately concluding the game with a 5-1 loss.
URI got things started in the bottom of the first inning, when Martin Figueroa doubled two batters in, followed by a single by Jordan Powell to give URI a 1-0 lead. A home run from Mike Corin in the bottom of the second inning gave the home team a 2-0 advantage.
At the bottom of the third inning, Rhode Island hit a two RBI single to centerfield raising the score to 4-0. At the top of the fifth inning, senior catcher Walker Haymaker hit a homerun giving VCU its only run on the scoreboard. However, URI responded with another run due to a passed ball giving them favor of a 5-1 score to last the rest of the game.
Despite Haymaker’s home run and 1-3 batting, junior infielder Matt Davis led the offense for VCU going 2-4 at the plate with two singles. Senior outfielder James Bunn and junior outfielder Logan Farrar both collected a hit, finishing as the only other VCU Ram to bat in the starting lineup.
VCU starting sophomore pitcher Sean Thompson collected his first loss of the season, going six innings and gave up nine hits and let in four earned runs.
VCU’s results weren’t any better than the day before in the second series game when the offense couldn’t make a change past the third inning. VCU dropped the game 7-3.
During the first inning, VCU gained the lead with a skied fly ball hit to right field by junior Darian Carpenter with two outs. As the ball fell out of URI’s Mike Foley’s glove, VCU was able to put the first run on the board.
Rhode Island was able to equal the score in the bottom of the first, after a VCU error with two outs extended the inning and allowed senior outfielder Ryan Olmo to drive in a run with an RBI single. VCU retaliated with Bunn and Davis each hitting a RBI single in the top of the second giving the black and gold a 3-1 lead.
The Rhodies scored another run in the bottom of the fourth and the fifth with a fielder’s choice off the bat and a groundout.
At the bottom of the seventh, URI scored another run due to a squeeze bunt that left VCU trailing 7-3.
VCU managed to get a lead off runner at the top of the ninth, but was quickly eliminated on a tough read line drive that was caught by the pitcher, shutting down any momentum VCU had going into the ninth.
Starting junior pitcher Brooks Vial took his third loss of the season, giving up eight hits and five earned runs in seven innings of play.
VCU was able to salvage some jubilation for the bus ride home after an unsuccessful weekend. VCU turned the tables on Rhode Island and defeated their opponents 7-3.
URI managed to tie up the game at the bottom of the eighth due to a walked in run with only one out during the inning. While VCU came up empty in the top of the ninth, URI threatened in the bottom of the inning. With two outs and runners on first and second, Bunn made a phenomenal diving catch to make the third out and send the game into extras.
Bunn stepped up to the plate in the top of the tenth with the bases loaded. He took the first pitch in the shoulder to force in a run and give VCU the 4-3 lead. Ching followed in the rotation, hitting a triple to the right field corner, clearing the bases and pushed VCU to their only win of the weekend, 7-3 victory.
The VCU Rams are now 20-12 and return to the Diamond on Tuesday to face Norfolk State University at 6:30 p.m.