RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Commonwealth University received outstanding efforts from its starting pitching but it wasn't enough as the Rams fell to Northeastern University 5-2 in game one and 2-0 in the nightcap of a Colonial Athletic Association doubleheader Friday evening at The Diamond.
VCU slips to 13-20 overall, 6-8 in CAA play. Northeastern won its sixth in a row and improves to 11-20, 6-8.
Rams' starting pitchers Seth Cutler-Voltz and Kyle Haynes combined to toss 16.0 innings and gave up just two earned runs but both suffered a loss. The duo struck out 16 and did not issue a walk. Junior Taylor Perkins went 3-for-7 with a double and two RBI for the Rams.
VCU and Northeastern will conclude the series on Saturday, April 16 at 4 p.m. with a rain date set for Sunday at 2 p.m.
GAME 1: NORTHEASTERN 5, VCU 2
Both starting pitchers went the distance in game one but three unearned runs in the eighth allowed Northeastern to take the lead for good and the Huskies held on to defeat VCU, 5-2, for their fifth straight win.
Northeastern starter Les Williams (3-4) surrendered two runs and five hits, while fanning nine. Cutler-Voltz allowed five runs (two earned) on six hits with eight strikeouts for the Rams but slipped to 1-4.
Aaron Barbosa tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly to put Northeastern on top 1-0 in the fourth but VCU used a two-out rally to take the lead in the bottom of the frame. Senior Michael Cheatham and freshman Joey Cujas collected back-to-back singles and a double by Perkins gave the Rams a 2-1 advantage.
After surrendering the go-ahead run, Cutler-Voltz retired 11 straight until a VCU fielding error extended the eighth and Northeastern plated three unearned runs to regain the lead. The Richmond, Va., native struck out the side, despite allowing a pair of singles and a two-RBI triple, and the Huskies moved in front 4-2.
Pete Castoldi doubled and scored on a fielder's choice to give Northeastern a 5-2 lead in the ninth.
GAME 2: NORTHEASTERN 2, VCU 0
A sixth-inning fielding error proved too costly for VCU in game two as Northeastern completed the doubleheader sweep with a 2-0 win in the nightcap.
Haynes worked 7.0 innings, surrendering one unearned run with eight strikeouts and no walks but suffered his fourth loss of the year. Northeastern starter Andrew Leenhouts tossed 8.1 scoreless frames with five strikeouts to pick up the win, while Dylan Maki recorded the final two outs for his third save.
Perkins was the only Ram to post multiple hits in either game, going 2-for-4.
Matt Miller was hit by a pitch with one out and scored on a fielding error to put Northeastern on top 1-0 in the sixth. Castoldi then singled and scored to add an insurance run in the ninth.
VCU had runners on second and third with two outs in the bottom of the ninth but couldn't scratch a run.