RICHMOND, Va. – Juniors Taylor Perkins and Taylor Buran collected three hits apiece and Virginia Commonwealth University defeated Fordham, 6-3, Friday afternoon at The Diamond in the season opener for both schools.
Perkins went 3-for-3 with a run and a RBI, while Buran finished 3-for-4 in his VCU debut. Freshman Bill Cullen went 2-for-5 and scored a pair of runs in his first collegiate game.
Junior Kyle Pelchy tossed 3.1 scoreless innings in relief to pick up the win for the Black & Gold. VCU starter Seth Cutler-Voltz allowed three runs on eight hits with nine strikeouts and just one walk when he left the game with a 3-3 tie in the sixth. Senior Brian Pendergast, who was charged with the loss for Fordham, settled down after a shaky first inning, retired six straight, and tossed 4.1 scoreless innings before surrendering the go-ahead run in the sixth.
Cullen led off the bottom of the first with a single into left and later scored on a two-out RBI by junior Brent Mikionis, which gave VCU a 1-0 lead. Buran then followed with a ground ball up the middle and Mikionis came home on an error by Fordham shortstop Ryan Maghini to make it 2-0. An RBI-single by Perkins plated Buran and VCU took an early three-run lead after its first trip to the plate.
Fordham got a run back in the top of the second when Joe Russo, who singled with one out, came home on a double by Tim Swatek.
VCU had a chance to add to its lead in the bottom of the fourth. Buran legged out a slow roller to third to start the inning and Perkins doubled over the head of Swatek in right and the Rams placed a pair of runners in scoring position with one out. However, Swatek would eventually run down a deep fly ball off the bat of freshman Landon Prentiss to end the frame.
Fordham catcher Chris Walker knotted the score at 3-3 in the top of the sixth with an opposite field home run. His club continued to threaten and later chased Cutler-Voltz with back-to-back two-out singles. Pelchy then got Maghini to pop up to Prentiss at shortstop and preserved the tie.
VCU took the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth when Perkins, who collected his third hit of the day with a double into left, scored on a passed ball and the Rams went on top 4-3.
The Black & Gold added two more insurance runs in the seventh after an error by Fordham third baseman Brian Kownacki.
VCU continues its three-game set against Fordham on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Rams conclude the series on Sunday at 1 p.m.