RICHMOND, Va. – Michael Cheatham went 3 for 3 with a walk and Nick Kime had two hits, including a homer, but it was not enough as Virginia Commonwealth University fell to Old Dominion University 5-3 Friday evening in the opener of the Colonial Athletic Association series at The Diamond.

The Rams dropped to 3-4 in the CAA and 9-15 overall, while the Monarchs improved to 6-4 in league play and 13-14 overall.

Cheatham walked in the second, singled and scored in the fourth, doubled in the fifth and singled again in the seventh to lead the VCU offense.

ODU got on the board in the top of the first as Brian Bashara drew a one-out walk and Joshua Wright followed with a home run to left, his seventh, to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.

Wright belted his second two-run dinger in the third as ODU took a 4-0 advantage.

The Rams cut the lead in half in the bottom of the fourth. Cheatham led off with a base hit and moved to third on a hit-and-run single by Chris Ayers. Following a pair of strikeouts, Ayers stole second and Landon Prentiss drew a walk to load the bases. Bill Cullen bounced a single up the middle to score Cheatham and Ayers and make it 4-2.

Wright tripled to lead off the sixth and scored as Christopher Baker reached on an error as the Monarchs took a 5-2 lead.

VCU again pulled to within two in the bottom of the sixth as Nick Kime homered to left, his second, to make it 5-3.

Seth Cutler-Voltz (1-3) worked 7.2 innings for the Rams with seven hits and five runs with one walk and six strikeouts.

Kyle Hald (4-2) allowed seven hits and three runs in six innings with three walks and 11 strikeouts for the Monarchs, his second game with 11 punchouts. Adam Wisniewski pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save.

Game 2 of the series will be Saturday at 1 p.m. at The Diamond.