April 10, 2010

VCU HOLDS OFF TOWSON, 7-4, TO PICK UP THIRD STRAIGHT CAA SERIES WIN

TOWSON, Md. – Virginia Commonwealth University held off a late Towson University rally and defeated the Tigers 7-4 Saturday afternoon in the second game of a three-game set at John B. Schuerholz Park.  VCU picks up its third straight Colonial Athletic Association series win.

First place VCU improves to 17-14 overall and 7-1 in CAA play, while Towson falls to 9-22, 5-6 in conference action.

Junior Joe Van Meter led the Rams offensively with a 3-for-5 outing at the plate, while finishing with an RBI and a run scored.  Seniors Richard Gonzalez and Doug Otto, and sophomore Paul Nice collected two hits apiece for the Rams.

Freshman righthander Kyle Haynes improved to 3-1 on the season after he scattered seven hits and allowed just two runs in 7.0 innings of work.  Senior Robby Andrews tossed the final 1.1 innings to pick up his team-leading fifth save of the season.  Towson starter Nate Curd suffered his sixth straight loss and falls to 0-6 on the year.

VCU got on the board with a pair of runs in its first trip to the plate.  Gonzalez and Otto contributed back-to-back singles with one out and moved into scoring position following a wild pitch by Curd.  Van Meter slid a ground ball through the hole at shortstop and Lenherr lifted a sacrifice fly into right field and the Rams went ahead early 2-0.

Senior Michael Cheatham scored on an error in the top of the second before five straight batters reached to start the third and VCU plated three runs on four hits to extend its lead to 6-0.

Austin Harclerode would end the Rams' 23.1 inning conference scoreless streak as he sent an RBI single up the middle and pulled Towson within 6-1 in the fourth.  Haynes surrendered singles to Kevin Collins and Chris Wychock to start the frame before Harclerode came through with his one-out hit.

Sophomore Taylor Perkins then found the gap in left center with one out in the fifth, which scored classmate Brent Mikionis from first, and VCU took a 7-1 advantage.

Haynes allowed a leadoff double to Rice to start the seventh and Nick Natoli sent an RBI single into right and Towson pulled within 7-2.  The Tigers had an opportunity to cut into the VCU lead but left the bases loaded.

Junior Jonathon Watson relieved Haynes in the eighth and issued a leadoff walk to Harclerode and a one-out infield single to Weller.  Ben Winter then cleared the bases with a two-out double over the head of Nice in left field and Towson pulled within 7-4.  However, Andrews came to the rescue and induced a ground ball to end the Tigers' threat.

VCU will look to complete the series sweep on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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