RICHMOND, Va. – The fans that braved a pair of weather delays and strong winds throughout the evening at The Diamond were treated to a quite a pitching display from the starting pitchers that took the mound for VCU and Binghamton on Friday night.
At the end of the night, it was the Rams who claimed their second win of the season, taking the first game of the three game series with the Bearcats by a tally of 5-1.
"The game featured two really good starting pitchers attacking each other on a day when the hitters sat around for a while, waiting for the rain to clear up," said VCU Head Coach Paul Keyes. "I thought their pitcher (Mike Augliera) was outstanding and we did a good job of getting a run off him early. I thought we missed a chance or two against him. (Senior RHP Kyle) Haynes did a great job for us and really only had one bad hitter when he walked the guy in the eighth. But Kyle came back, before giving way to (Blake) Hauser in the ninth. Anytime you can strike out 14 batters and walk two, that is a good day."
Haynes came out of the gates strong, fanning a pair of Bearcast batters in the top of the first.
The Rams pushed across a run in the top of the first, after sophomore outfielder Bill Cullen kicked things off with a triple to left field. Junior infielder Jordan Weymouth would plate Cullen from third, delivering an infield single.
Both pitchers would settle in from there, holding the offenses scoreless for the next five innings. Haynes would retire the side in the top of the second, third and fourth.
Augliera would leave the game after six innings, throwing 86 pitches and allowing just one run.
VCU would tally a run off his replacement, Jack Rogalla, in the top of the seventh. Senior catcher Taylor Perkins reached base safely on an error with one out in the inning; after Rogalla recorded the second out, sophomore Chris Ayers (pictured right) doubled into left center to score Perkins.
The Bearcats would manufacture their only run off of Haynes in the top of the eighth, kick started by the leadoff walk.
The Black & Gold would put the game out of reach in the bottom of the eighth, scoring three runs in the frame, bring the score to 5-1 in favor of the home team. Senior outfielder Paul Nice led things off with a single up the middle, before advancing to second a bunt by Cullen for the first out. With two outs and Nice on second, the Bearcats intentionally walked sophomore infielder Joey Cujas. Redshirt junior Brent Mikionis plated Nice with a single up the middle, before coming around to score with Cujas on a double to left center by Perkins.
Hauser entered the game in the top of the ninth, striking out all three visiting batters on just 11 pitches.
Haynes earned his first victory of the 2012 campaign, throwing eight complete innings, allowing just five hits, giving up one run and fanning 11 batters. Augliera would take the loss for Binghamton.
Keyes is excited for the opportunity to face another challenging Binghamton pitcher on Saturday.
"They are going to have another strong pitcher going tomorrow, and we will have (junior LHP Ryan) Farrar going. Hopefully we can carry some momentum over from today, especially after a long day like today. We need to get another good start of our pitchers."
The Rams and Bearcats will play game are scheduled to play the second game of the series at 2 p.m. at The Diamond.