MONARCHS REIGN OVER RAMS IN 4-1 VICTORY ON FRIDAY NIGHT
NORFOLK, Va. – The VCU Baseball team suffered a 4-1 setback to host Old Dominion on Friday night at the Bud Metheny Complex.
With the victory, the Monarchs improve to 16-25 overall and 6-13 in the CAA, while the Rams drop to 22-20 and 9-13 in league play.
"I thought Old Dominion's pitching staff did a good job and kept us off balance," said VCU associate head coach Shawn Stiffler. "Their middle reliever and closer did a great job throwing strikes and keeping the ball down against us."
Old Dominion jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning, scoring the three runs on just two hits. VCU junior pitcher Ryan Farrar walked the leadoff hitter, before forcing a fly out to center field for the first out. ODU shortstop Josh Wright then lined a single through the left side, which put runners on first and second for the home side. Farrar hit Brandon Shelton to load the bases, before Josh Eldridge lined a single to left field, which scored two runs and put Shelton on third. ODU's Chris Baker followed with a sacrifice fly to center, enabling Shelton to score from third.
The Rams notched their only run of the contest in the top of the fourth, with sophomore infielder Joey Cujas leading things off with a single to left field. After redshirt junior Brent Mikionis flew out to center, sophomore Chris Ayers roped a single through the left side which advanced Cujas. Redshirt junior Taylor Buran lifted a single to left field, which plated Cujas from second base. The Monarchs made a pitching change, bringing in Dean Ali, who would retire the next two batters to get out of the inning.
The Monarchs added to their lead in the bottom of the fifth, recording one run to close out the scoring for the game.
Ali picked up the win for the Monarchs, pitching three and two-thirds innings out of the bullpen, while Brandon Smith earned the save with two innings of work.
Farrar suffers the loss for the Rams, throwing seven and two-thirds innings, while allowing four runs and five hits.
"Ryan wasn't his sharpest tonight, but he is a warrior and kept competing for us," added Stiffler. "He got better as the game wore on, struggling with his command early in the contest and they were able to take advantage of him in the third."
Sophomore outfielder Bill Cullen went 2-for-4 at the plate for the Rams, extending his hitting streak to 17-straight games.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday, with the first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m.