RAMS BATTLE HARD, BUT FALL TO FIRST-PLACE DELAWARE, 6-4
RICHMOND, Va. – Baseball is a game of inches. Just ask the Virginia Commonwealth University baseball team. A couple inches one way on a foul ball or a couple inches further and a hit may have fell, bottom line it can be frustrating if those inches don't go your way.
In a season in which those inches aren't going their way, the Rams dropped another close decision, this time a 6-4 loss to first-place Delaware at The Diamond on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.
VCU falls to 16-24 overall and 8-12 in Colonial Athletic Association play. 10 of those 12 conference losses have been by three runs or less.
"This is a frustrating game, but bottom line you can't make excuses and we just haven't been able to get over the hump," Head Coach Paul Keyes said. "We just have to keep coming to the yard and trying to get better everyday as individuals and as a team."
After a leadoff double by Delaware's D.J. Long, sophomore right-hander Kyle Haynes settled in nicely to keep the Blue Hens off the scoreboard in the first two frames.
The Black & Gold took advantage with back-to-back singles by freshmen Joey Cujas and Kyle Sutherland to put runners on the corners with one out. Classmate Landon Prentiss delivered an RBI groundout to stake VCU to an early 1-0 cushion.
Delaware wouldn't stay behind long as Steve Ulaky connected on an RBI single and Nick Ferdinand lifted a sac fly to left field in the top of the third to give the Fightin' Blue Hens their first lead of the contest, 2-1.
VCU would respond in the bottom of the fourth when junior Taylor Perkins walked and sophomore Nick Kime was hit by a pitch to put two runners on with no outs. Cujas, who is second on the team with 28 RBIs, followed by ripping a double down the left field line to plate both runners and give the Rams a 3-2 lead.
Just like they had all series long, the Fightin' Blue Hens answered quickly plating three runs in the top of the fifth, keyed by a two-RBI single by Dave Anderson to grab the lead for good.
Junior Corey Crispell would come out of Delaware's bullpen to stifle the Black & Gold's offensive attack, holding them to just four runs over the final six innings to secure the win.
Haynes (4-6) was saddled with the loss after tossing six innings, giving up nine hits and five runs on the afternoon.
Cujas, Kime and senior John Lenherr all had two hits in the contest, while Cujas added a run scored and an RBI in the loss.
The two teams square off in the series finale on Sunday at 2 p.m.