RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Commonwealth University scored one run in the ninth and another in the tenth to post its third walk-off victory of the season following a 6-5 win against William & Mary in the second game of a three-game series Saturday evening at The Diamond.
Sophomore Paul Nice led off the bottom of the ninth with a double in the right center gap and scored on an RBI-single by senior M.L. Morgan to tie the score at 5-5. William & Mary reliever John Farrell, who suffered his second loss of the season, hit two batters in the 10th and senior Matt Leskiw plated pinch runner Ryan Caldwell with a walk-off single into left field.
VCU improves to 14-13 overall and 4-1 in Colonial Athletic Association play, while William & Mary slips to 17-9, 3-2. Three of VCU's four conference victories this season have come in the Rams' final at bat.
Senior Richard Gonzalez (pictured, right) reached base in all five of his plate appearances after going 3-for-3 at the plate. He was also hit by a pitch in his final two at bats. Morgan was the only other Ram to post multiple hits as he finished 2-for-5 with a RBI and a run.
Junior Jonathan Watson tossed 2.2 scoreless innings in relief and recorded three strikeouts to improve to 2-0 on the year. VCU starter Seth Cutler-Voltz gave up five runs on nine hits and struck out three but did not receive a decision.
Morgan smoked a double over the head of right fielder Stephen Arcure and Gonzalez followed with a single to right, which put runners on the corners with no out in the bottom of the first. Senior Doug Otto grounded into a double play but Morgan came home to give VCU an early 1-0 lead.
William & Mary countered as the Tribe reeled off four straight hits with one out and went ahead 3-1 in the top of the second.
Junior Joe Van Meter, who sent a line drive into centerfield to start the VCU fourth, advanced to third on a wild pitch and pulled the Rams within 3-2 after Tribe catcher Chris Forsten's throw sailed into left field.
William & Mary had an opportunity to add to its lead in the fifth as Cutler-Voltz loaded the bases after surrendering a leadoff single and a pair of walks. However, the Tribe couldn't capitalize as Van Meter snagged a line drive by Forsten and doubled up Tadd Bower at first base to end the threat.
Otto and Gonzalez then sparked a VCU rally in the bottom of the sixth as the duo began the frame with a single and double, respectively. Right handed reliever Matt Davenport issued an intentional walk to Van Meter to load the bases with no out. Sophomore Brent Mikionis followed with an RBI single to center and junior John Lenherr gave the Rams a 4-3 lead after a sacrifice fly.
William & Mary returned the favor with a rally of its own and regained the lead in the top of the eighth. Derek Osteen led off the inning with a walk and come home on an RBI-double by Forsten to knot the score at 4-4. Arcure then put the Tribe ahead 5-4 with a single up the middle.
VCU and William & Mary conclude the three-game series on Sunday at 2 p.m.