LYNCHBURG, Va. - For the second time in three games, the VCU Baseball team was forced into extra innings. And for the second time in three games, the Rams came away with the victory.
VCU defeated host Liberty 4-2 on Tuesday night in front 425 in attendance at Worthington Stadium. The Rams improve to 13-12 on the year, while Liberty drops to 23-5.
"I thought it was exactly what we needed," said VCU head coach Paul Keyes. "We needed our seniors to come up big for us and Seth Cutler-Voltz did a great job. He has been used in a number of roles this season, but tonight we needed him as a starter and he did a great job. In the 10th, Jordan (Weymouth) came up with a big hit to give us the lead, before Joey (Cujas) added the sacrifice fly to extend the lead for us."
The Rams took an initial lead in the top of the third inning, pushing across two runs in the frame. Junior infielder Jordan Weymouth delivered a two-out single into left center field. Sophomore infielder Joey Cujas followed that up with a deep fly ball that just kept carrying, before carrying over the wall in left center field for a two-run home run. It marked the first home run of the season for Cujas.
Liberty cut the lead in half with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth, before tying the game at 2-2 with a lone run in the bottom of the sixth.
Neither team could muster the go ahead run over the last three innings, extending the game to extra innings.
The Rams took the lead for good in the top of the 10th, scoring two runs. Junior infielder Nick Kime led off the inning with a single to right field, before senior outfielder Paul Nice drew a walk to put Kime in scoring position with Weymouth coming to the plate.
With a 1-2 count to his credit, Weymouth dropped a double into left center field, allowing Kime to score the game-winning run and advancing Nice to third. Cujas followed that up with a sacrifice fly to center field, bringing Nice in uncontested.
Freshman Matt Lees, who earned the victory in tonight's game, came out for the bottom of the 10th inning and allowed the leadoff hitter to reach on a bunt single. The Henrico, Va., native then came back to record the first out of the inning, making an impressive play to nail Liberty's Andy Smith at first base on a bunt.
Keyes called upon his closer, junior Blake Hauser, to record the final two outs of the contest. Hauser delivered with a fine performance, fanning the next two batters to finish off the Flames.
The Rams will return to conference play this weekend, traveling to Northeastern University for a three-game series starting this Friday. First pitch for Friday's contest at Friedman Diamond is scheduled for 3 p.m.