RICHMOND, Va. – Junior Paul Nice (Powhatan, Va.) and freshman Joey Cujas (Midlothian, Va.) collected two hits apiece for Virginia Commonwealth University, but it wasn't enough to dig the Rams out of an early deficit in a 6-3 loss to Delaware Friday at The Diamond.
Four players were credited with two hits each for Delaware, including Nick Ferdinand, who homered and doubled, to lead an 11-hit attack.
Although the Rams never led, VCU did stage a serious threat in the bottom half of the sixth. Trailing 4-1, senior John Lenherr (Windom, Kan.) led off with a single and senior Michael Cheatham (Chesterfield, Va.) followed with a run-scoring double to the left field wall off UD starter Eric Young. Two batters later, Cujas dumped a single into short right field to plate Cheatham. However, Delaware reliever Jeff Murray extinguished the VCU rally when he induced a 5-2-3 inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.
Delaware's Steve Ulaky singled home a pair of insurance runs in the top of the ninth, while Murray closed out the game with 3 2/3 innings of scoreless, one-hit relief to earn his first save. Young (5-2) picked up the victory, allowing eight hits and three runs in 5 1/3 innings. Junior Seth Cutler-Voltz (Richmond, Va.) took the loss for the Rams, surrendering four runs and eight hits in five innings of work.
The Blue Hens grabbed an early 1-0 lead on an RBI single by E.J. Stoltzfus. VCU answered in the bottom half of the inning with consecutive singles by sophomore Nick Kime (Stafford, Va.) and Cujas, followed by an RBI groundout from senior Michael Caddell (Raleigh, N.C.).
But a run-scoring single by Stoltzfus in the third and solo homers by Chris Branigan and Ferdinand in the fourth and fifth, respectively, put Delaware in front for good.
The Rams and Blue Hens continue their three-game set on Saturday at The Diamond. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.