VCU SUFFERS 11-1 SETBACK AGAINST LIBERTY

RICHMOND, Va. – Senior Michael Cheatham went 3-for-4 and classmate John Lenherr and junior Paul Nice collected two hits apiece but Virginia Commonwealth University couldn't overcome an early deficit and fell to Liberty University, 11-1, Tuesday evening at The Diamond.

VCU slips to 9-14 overall, while Liberty improves to 15-11.  Cheatham, Lenherr and Nice combined for seven of VCU's 11-hit attack but the Rams struggled to score, leaving 10 runners on base.  The Flames plated 11 runs on 12 hits and stranded just five.

Liberty scored a pair of unearned runs in the top of the first and jumped out to a 2-0 lead.  Ian Parmley drew a leadoff walk and Casey Rasmus reached on a throwing error.  Doug Bream then singled and cousin Tyler Bream lifted a sacrifice fly into left to give the Flames a two-run advantage.

Liberty extended its lead to 3-0 after back-to-back doubles by Matt Williams and Doug Bream in the third.  However, Cheatham singled to right and plated freshman Bill Cullen to pull VCU within 3-1 in the bottom of the frame.

It was as close as the Rams would get, however, as a two-run homer by Tyler Bream gave Liberty a 6-1 lead in the fifth.

The Flames added four more runs in the sixth and one in the seventh to stake an 11-1 advantage.

Garrett Baker (3-0) allowed one run on six hits in four innings to pick up the win for Liberty, while sophomore Blake Hauser suffered his second loss after surrendering eight runs (five earned) in 5.1 innings.  Freshman Ryan Morrison allowed just one hit and struck out three in the final two frames for the Rams.

VCU continues Colonial Athletic Association play with a three-game series against rival Old Dominion University April 1-3 at The Diamond.  Friday's series opener is set for 6 p.m.

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