RICHMOND, Va. – The VCU Baseball team fell to CAA foe William & Mary 4-3 in 11 innings on Friday night at The Diamond.
After battling back-and-forth for the first 10 innings, the Tribe pulled ahead for good in the top of the 11th inning. William & Mary's Sean Aiken reached safely on an infield error to start off the inning, before being relieved for a pinch runner. The runner advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, before Ryan Brown lined a two-out single to center to score the eventual game-winning run.
Despite starting off the bottom of the 11th with a leadoff single, the Rams were unable to come away with the game-tying run.
The Tribe improve to 25-16 on the season, including 10-9 in CAA play, while the Rams drop to 20-18 and 7-12 in league games.
"It was obviously a well pitched game," said VCU associate head coach Shawn Stiffler. "Both starting pitchers set the tone early, cruising through the first six innings. The back end just came down to some execution and some two-out hitting. Both teams really fought for their at-bats all night and they were just able to get one more hit than us in the back end."
The Rams pulled ahead early, notching the first run in the bottom of the first inning. Sophomore outfielder Bill Cullen kicked things off with a single up the middle, before advancing to second a throwing error by the pitch on a pickoff attempt. The Colonial Heights, Va., native came around to score on single up the middle by sophomore infielder Joey Cujas.
The Tribe tied the score at 1-1 in the top of the seventh, only to see the Rams pulled ahead once more in the bottom of the frame. After redshirt junior Taylor Buran roped a double into left center, freshman infielder Vimael Machin delivered a single to center which scored Buran.
William & Mary added a pair of runs in the top of the eighth inning to take its first lead of the contest, with a 3-2 advantage.
The Rams headed to the bottom of the ninth trailing by one run and needing to score to force extras. After Buran (pictured right) singled down the right field line and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, sophomore Landon Prentiss delivered a single to left field to plate Buran and knot the score at 3-3.
William & Mary would eventually win the contest in the 11th, with John Farrell earning the victory for the Tribe. Senior pitcher Kyle Pelchy suffered the loss for VCU, throwing six innings out of the bullpen.
Due to expected rain in the Richmond area throughout the weekend, the two teams have agreed to play a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 12 p.m. The second game will follow shortly after the conclusion of Saturday's first game.
"The one thing I just told the team is that if you play well for one day you can win the series with a doubleheader," added Stiffler. "It's going to be a long day with two games coming off an emotional night like this, but this is a chance for us to find a little bit about ourselves in one day."