WILMINGTON, N.C. – Virginia Commonwealth University dropped its second straight Colonial Athletic Association series following a 7-3 loss Sunday against UNC Wilmington in the finale of a three-game set at Brooks Field.
VCU, which is 1-4-1 in its last six conference games, falls to 24-19-1 overall and 12-5-1 in CAA play, while UNC Wilmington improves to 25-20, 10-8 in league action.
Senior Richard Gonzalez with 2-for-3 with a run and RBI to lead the Rams, while seniors Matt Leskiw and Doug Otto, and sophomores Paul Nice and Taylor Perkins each collected one of VCU's six hits on the day.
Freshman Ryan Farrar made his first career conference start and allowed four runs on four hits in five innings of work. The rookie allowed just one run on two hits over the first four frames before UNC Wilmington chased him with a three-run fifth.
VCU took an early lead in the top of the third as Leskiw singled through the left side to start a two-out rally. Gonzalez followed with a single up the middle to put VCU on the board and Otto came through with an RBI single into right and the Rams took a 2-0 advantage.
However, UNC Wilmington cut the lead in half with a run in the bottom of the frame. Farrar issued back-to-back singles to start the inning and Michael Bass came home on a groundout by Michael Rooney and the Seahawks pulled within 2-1.
UNC Wilmington rallied to score three more runs with two outs and took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth. Ben Thielsen drew a walk and Rooney was hit by a pitch on a 0-2 count and the Seahawks placed runners on first and second. Alex Hill sent an RBI single up the middle and Cody Stanley followed with bases clearing double and UNC Wilmington went ahead 4-2.
Junior John Lenherr drew a leadoff walk to start the VCU seventh and Seahawks pitcher Justin Bradley, who went the distance and allowed two earned runs on six hits, couldn't field a comebacker by sophomore Brent Mikionis and the Rams had a pair of runners on with no out. Nice moved both runners into scoring position with a bunt and Lenherr pulled VCU within 4-3 after he came home on a sacrifice fly by Perkins.
But UNC Wilmington got the run back in its next trip to the plate after Thielsen drew a one-out walk and scored when Rooney sent a double down the left field line. The Seahawks added two more insurance runs in the eighth to make it 7-3.
VCU had a runner reach base in the eighth and ninth but couldn't scratch across a run.
VCU will be back in action with a pair of midweek games this week. The Rams head to Charlottesville to take on No. 2 University of Virginia on Tuesday, May 4 at 6 p.m. VCU then travels to Norfolk State for a 4 p.m. matchup against the Spartans on Wednesday, May 5.