Andy Riddler, Contributing Writer
Baseball won its fourth consecutive conference series, taking two of three games from Fordham.
VCU found itself on the scoreboard early with a double down the left field line by junior catcher Josh Simon in the bottom of the second inning. The Rams never relinquished the lead on the way to an 8-3 win.
The game was blown open in the third inning with run-scoring hits by sophomore infielder Liam Hibbits and junior outfielder Brandon Henson. Hibbits scored junior infielder Brett Norwood on a single, then Henson emptied the bases with a home run — his fifth of the season — that scored Hibbits and junior infielder Paul Witt to balloon the Rams’ lead to 5-0. Witt earned three hits and one RBI in the game.
Junior right-handed pitcher Connor Gillispie earned his third victory of the year on the strength of his 12th consecutive start allowing one or fewer earned runs. He recorded four strikeouts, allowed four hits and one earned run across 5.1 innings, his longest start of the year.
Junior right-handed pitcher Sam Ryan closed the door on Fordham when he pitched the final 3.2 innings in relief to clinch the win. Ryan recorded two strikeouts and only allowed two hits for his fifth save of the season.
The Rams struggled to find any rhythm following the extensive rain delay against Fordham’s pitching, losing 11-1 as Fordham tied the weekend series.
Senior catcher Andrew Schatz scored the only run for VCU with an eighth-inning solo shot, which set his new career high in RBI: one.
VCU pitching struggled to stop the Fordham offense for most of the day, but the duo of freshman left-hander Jaden Griffin and freshman right-hander Danny Watson combined to allow no runs and only two hits during the final three innings.
The Rams pitching dominated throughout the first meeting against Fordham, including a stretch to end the game in which the Rams retired 16 consecutive Fordham batters to win 3-0 — the third Rams shutout of the season.
The Rams took the lead early on a Hibbits single that scored sophomore utility player Hogan Brown in the first inning.
Redshirt-sophomore right-handed pitcher Justin Sorokowski started for VCU and did not disappoint on his way to six strikeouts, only allowing only two hits across five innings pitched. It was Sorokowski’s second victory of the season.
Senior right-handed pitcher Benjamin Dum tallied four perfect innings with five strikeouts to close out the victory for VCU. Dum earned the save, his second on the season.
VCU extended its lead to three on a sixth-inning double by junior outfielder Alex Taylor, who scored Hibbits and Witt for his first RBI since March 30.
VCU is back in action April 19-21 on the road against Richmond.