RICHMOND, Va. – Fairfield University scored three runs in the ninth inning and two in the tenth to defeat Virginia Commonwealth University, 7-5, Friday evening in the first of a four-game weekend series at The Diamond.
VCU held a 3-2 advantage entering the ninth inning but Fairfield scored three runs in the top of the frame to pull ahead 5-3. However, the Rams responded in the home half as shortstop Doug Otto sent a one-out single down the left field line, just out of the reach of Stags third baseman David Dudish, and tied the score at 5-5 to force an extra frame.
Fairfield continued where they left off and scored a pair of runs in the tenth on one hit and two VCU errors. The Stags also successfully executed a critical drag bunt to add an insurance run and went ahead 7-5. Kyle Goldstein retired the side in the bottom of the tenth and picked up his first save of the season.
"We have to forget this one and move on," said VCU Head Coach Paul Keyes. "We just have to play smarter. They did a really good job in the ninth and tenth innings. The drag but, I thought, was a great play by them to get it to 7-5.
"We also needed to take a few more pitches late in the game offensively. We had their starter on the rope and turned in a four or five pitch inning down at the bottom of the order. We need to do a better job of that."
Ryan Furbeck got things started in the top of the first inning for Fairfield as he led off the game with a single up the middle. Rams starter Seth Cutler-Voltz induced back-to-back groundouts and Furbeck advanced to third. Dudish followed with a single through the right side, which plated Furbeck and gave the Stags an early 1-0 advantage.
VCU answered in the bottom of the first when center fielder Andrew Dimino, who was hit by a pitch to start the frame, scored on an error by Fairfield shortstop Mark Skrapits and knotted the score at 1-1.
The Rams added another run following a Fairfield error in the second inning and pulled ahead 2-1 before the Stags again tied the game at 2-2 with a run in the top of the third.
VCU broke the tie in the bottom of the sixth as Van Meter collected his second hit of the game to start the inning. He stole second base with two outs and came home following a RBI-single by left fielder Matt Leskiw.
Van Meter led the Rams offensively going 3-for-4 at the plate, while scoring the go-ahead run in the sixth. Leskiw had two hits for VCU, while Otto, second baseman Richard Gonzalez, right fielder John Lenherr and designated hitter Michael Cheatham each finished with one hit.
Andrews, who registered a save in VCU's two wins this season, suffered the loss after he allowed five runs (three earned) on four hits with two walks in 1.2 innings of work.
Cutler-Voltz made his second start of the season and allowed two runs while scattering five hits over six innings, before giving way to right hander Kyle Pelchy, who tossed two scoreless innings in relief.
VCU continues its series with Fairfield on Saturday at The Diamond with a double header beginning at 12 p.m.