Baseball drops two-of-three in Charleston


VCU Baseball failed to carry Friday night momentum over into the weekend for the second consecutive series, as the Rams dropped two-of-three to the Buccaneers of Charleston Southern University to bring their record to 2-4 in the early goings of the 2017 season.


The rubber match of the weekend series ended in heartbreak for the Rams, as they got the tying run to the plate in the top of the ninth, but ultimately fell by a final of 4-2.

Senior left-hander Brooks Vial got the start on the bump for VCU and was credited with the loss despite putting forward a quality start. Vial gave up three earned runs on seven hits and two walks in five innings of work. He punched out two Buccaneers.

Charleston Southern got a pair of runs in the second inning and never relinquished the lead. VCU’s best chance to take a lead came with Rams down 3-1 in the top of the fifth. Right fielder Alex Gransback, freshman shortstop Paul Witt and third baseman Daane Berezo all reached on singles to start the inning. Despite having their 2-3-4 hitters due up with the bases loaded and nobody out, the Rams came away with nothing as CSU was able to finagle its way out of the jam.

Berezo reached with one out in the top of the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate in the form of Carpenter, the Rams’ most imposing power hitter, but the Bucs’ relief pitching once again excelled at wiggling out of harm’s way.


The second game of the weekend split the series, with Charleston Southern edging the Rams 11-9 on Saturday night.

An early 3-0 deficit did not stop the Buccaneers from plating 11 runs and dominating VCU pitching, as well as defending their lead from a late Rams’ rally.

Sophomore third baseman Zac Ching drew first blood for the Rams with a shot to center, and then scored as a pinch runner for Carpenter. A wild pitch plated a third run for the Rams, capping off a three-run burst in the opening three innings.

Charleston Southern notched a run on a first-base error and then scored five additional runs, including two homers, over the next several innings to take a 6-3 lead.

Junior infielder Mitchel Lacey finally gave VCU a spark in the seventh, as his single on a liner up the middle sent two runners home, putting the Rams within one run.

However, the Buccaneers struck back with a fury in the bottom half of the inning, scoring another five runs to extend their lead to 11-5.

Dual bases-loaded walks to junior utility man J.P. Vail and junior outfielder Haiden Lamb forced in two runs for the Rams in the eighth, closing the deficit to four.

Witt then lined a single to score two, but the rally would stop there. CSU closer Cody Smith shut down the Rams in the ninth, sealing the win for the Bucs.


The opener showed what the Rams are really made of, with VCU crushing CSU in a 13-4 blowout. A whpping 21 hits came off the bats of the Rams, including three home runs.

Sophomore starting pitcher Michael Dailey bounced back from an uncharacteristically rough start last Saturday to earn the win with five shutout innings.

Senior catcher Nick Rabat laced a two-run double to open the scoring in the first, and Berezo added another run to that lead by doubling down the left field line to score Rabat.

Senior center fielder and three-hitter Logan Farrar smashed a three-run homer over the right field wall in the second, extending the lead to 6-0.

Back-to-back doubles gave the Rams another run in the fourth, and freshman infielder Brett Willett’s first career homer in the fifth put the Rams up 8-0.

Charleston Southern added a run in the sixth, but the Rams answered with a pair of runs in the seventh on sacrifice flies by Lamb and Witt.

CSU junior Chris Singleton brought the Buccaneers within six with a three-run shot, but Carpenter extended the lead for the Rams with his first homer of the season.

Vail and Lacey hit consecutive RBI singles in the eighth to give the Rams some insurance runs and a 13-4 lead. Eight Rams racked up at least one RBI in the offensive explosion.

Baseball will look to get back on track this week as the Rams return to Richmond for their home opener. First pitch at The Diamond is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Adam Cheek

Contributing writer

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