VCU men’s baseball defeats Norfolk State, 13-4

VCU second-year pitcher Evan Bert looked to strike out his opponent in a game against Longwood University last season. CT file photo by Alessandro Latour.

Thailon Wilson, Staff Writer 

VCU men’s baseball defeated the Norfolk State University Spartans, 13-4, giving the Rams a two-game winning streak heading into the Atlantic 10 conference season. 

VCU came into the game after a high voltage 25-15 against the University of South Florida to end that series 2-1.

The game started with Norfolk State not being able to get on the bases. At the bottom of the first inning, VCU sophomore Will Carlone hit an in-field triple, but couldn’t make it home before Norfolk State sophomore Antonio Velasquez struck out VCU sophomore infielder Brandon Eike to end the first inning.

The second inning ended in similar fashion with neither team being able to garner any movement at home plate. 

In the third inning, the Spartans gained a hit, until VCU got a double play to end the first half of the third inning.

VCU redshirt senior outfielder AJ Mathis hit an in-field triple in the bottom of the third inning, which helped to score VCU’s first batted in run to make the score 1-0.

Carlone hit a double ground ball to help secure Mathis’ run in, to give VCU a 2-0 lead at the end of the bottom of the third inning.

The Spartans continued to struggle at the plate at the top of the fourth inning by not being able to get on the bases with multiple fly-outs. 

VCU continued the dominance they showed in the bottom of the third inning by batting in three runners to increase their lead to 5-0 going into the fifth inning.

The Spartans finally garnered up some offense at the top of the fifth inning by scoring three runs in a row.

VCU sophomore pitcher Jack Goleski said he was proud to be able to rally against adversity and earn his first win as a pitcher for VCU.

“It was hard baseball for awhile, so to get a first Division I college win is pretty exciting, and hopefully I get some more,” Goleski said.

VCU rallied back at the bottom of the fifth inning by scoring runs-batted-in runs as well to increase the lead to 7-3.

After the end of the fifth inning, Goleski was subbed out for VCU freshman pitcher Brian Curley for the sixth inning. Curley was able to strike out three Norfolk State players, which gave VCU the opportunity to increase the lead.

Eike hit a double and then VCU junior infielder William Bean hit another double which advanced the Rams lead to 8-3 at the end of the sixth inning. 

Norfolk State continued to struggle against Curley in the seventh inning. Curley had a perfect inning where he struck out three Spartans players. 

This momentum continued into the VCU’s offense in the seventh inning as Eike was able to hit a three-run home run, alongside two other runs-batted-in to give the Rams a 13-3 lead going into the eighth inning.

VCU head coach Bradley LeCroy said the team strives to get as many people on base as possible because it creates more opportunities to score. 

“If you get on base, you get chances to score runs, and that’s the name of the game,” LeCroy said. “We want to score one or two to keep momentum.”

Eike said he was prepared to take advantage of the mishaps of the opposing team.

“He made a mistake, and I made him pay,” Eike said. “It’s part of the game.”

Both the eighth and the ninth inning ended with not much action other than a run-batted-in for the Spartans to decrease the lead from 13-4.

LeCroy said it was important that the team got hot entering conference play.

“We’ve been on a pretty good roll here lately,” LeCroy said. “We feel real confident going into the A-10 this weekend.”

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