WILMINGTON, N.C. – Virginia Commonwealth University couldn't overcome seven UNC Wilmington runs in the first two innings and fell 10-5 in the second game of a three-game Colonial Athletic Association series Saturday afternoon at Brooks Field.
VCU, which had its leadoff batter reach in eight of its nine trips to the plate, falls to 24-18-1 overall and 12-4-1 in CAA play, while UNC Wilmington improves to 24-20, 9-8 in league action.
Seven different Rams collected a hit with sophomore Taylor Perkins going 1-for-3 with a double and two RBI. Sophomores Brent Mikionis and Paul Nice and freshman Nick Kime also drove in a run for VCU.
UNC Wilmington came out swinging and the Seahawks scored four runs on five hits, including three doubles, in their first trip to the plate. Rams sophomore Kyle Haynes allowed five of the first six batters to reach and UNCW jumped out to an early 4-0 lead.
Junior Joe Van Meter, who saw his season-long 14-game hitting streak come to an end, reached on a leadoff walk to start the second inning. Mikionis and junior John Lenherr then followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases with no out. Nice got the Rams on the board with an RBI groundout before Perkins drove in a pair of runs with a line drive down the right field line and VCU pulled within 4-3.
The Seahawks continued to pressure Haynes and chased the righthander in the bottom of the second after he surrendered a walk and a single to start the frame. Sophomore Michael Graham relieved Haynes with a 2-0 count to Alex Hill and issued a walk to load the bases. The southpaw then allowed a free pass to Cody Stanley, and Robbie Monday and Grayson Evans followed with back-to-back RBI groundouts to put UNC Wilmington on top 7-3.
After issuing the walk to Stanley, Graham settled down and retired the next nine Seahawks batters but ran into trouble in the fifth. Monday led off with a walk and Evans, Hunter Ridge and Matt Holt each collected an RBI and UNC Wilmington pulled ahead 10-3.
Mikionis lifted a sacrifice fly into center and senior Doug Otto came home to cut the UNC Wilmington lead to 10-4 in the sixth.
Senior M.L. Morgan led off the ninth with an infield single and scored on a groundout by Kime and the Rams pulled within 10-5.
Sophomore Josh Alford and junior Aaron Morgan combined to throw four scoreless innings in relief for VCU. The duo allowed a pair of hits and finished with two strikeouts.
VCU and UNC Wilmington will conclude the three-game series on Sunday at 2 p.m