Rams Cruise to 4-1 Victory Over Boston College in Season Opener
FINAL: VCU 4, Boston College 1 (Comfort Inn and Suites Elon Invitational – Elon, N.C.)
VCU STARTERS: Cullen (CF), Weymouth (2b), Cujas (3B), Ayers (C), Machin (SS), Buran (RF), Prentiss (DH), Marino (1B), Bunn (LF), Dwyer (P)
BOSTON COLLEGE STARTERS: McGovern (RF), Butera (SS), Bourdon (CF), Shaw (1B), Pare (C), Ferrick (2B), Murphy (LF), Hoggarth (DH), Cronin (3B), Stevens (P)
THE BASICS: The VCU Baseball team picked up a 4-1 victory on opening day over Atlantic Coast Conference foe Boston College in the first game of the Country Inn and Suites Elon Invitational. The Rams used a fifth inning RBI double from freshman James Bunn to break a 1-1 tie and added two runs late to earn the victory.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- VCU (1-0) wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. Junior Bill Cullen led the bottom of the first inning with a single. After an error on a pickoff and a groundout, Cullen was on third with one out. Junior Joey Cujas gave the Rams a 1-0 lead on a RBI groundout that allowed Cullen to score from third.
- Boston College (0-1) rallied to tie the game in the second inning with two outs. Geffory Murphy started the rally with a single. The next batter, Logan Hoggarth doubled home Murphy to tie the score at 1-1. The Eagles continued to rally with two outs, with runners on first and second BC's Matt McGovern lined a single into left. Hoggarth tried to score from second, but Bunn gunned down Hoggarth at the plate to end the inning.
- The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning. VCU Junior Landon Prentiss reached on a one out single. After a wild pitch, Prentiss moved to second with Bunn at the plate. After working the count full, Bunn delivered a two out RBI double to put the Black and Gold ahead for good.
- Sophomore Heath Dwyer pitched six strong innings in the start for VCU. The Chandler, Ariz. native scattered seven hits, while only allowing one run. Classmate Matt Lees pitched three perfect innings to earn the save.
- VCU added two insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh. Sparked by a one out double by senior Taylor Buran, the Rams used three consecutive infield hits to score the two runs. Prentiss, junior Trevor Marino and Bunn each had hits in the rally.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- The Rams have now won four consecutive opening day games.
- The victory, was also the first career coaching victory for Head Coach Shawn Stiffler.
- Prentiss and Bunn each finished 2-for-3 on the day.
- Dwyer recorded his fourth victory of his career, while Lees picked up his third career save.
- VCU had RBI's from Bunn, Cujas and Marino.
- Dwyer and Lees combined to retire the final 17 Boston College batters.
"Overall, it was a well played game. We led in the categories that are important to us which are: hits, walks and errors and those are things that we focus on a lot. When you look up and you only walk one on the day and you don't commit any errors you have a chance to win a lot of games. Not to mention I think it's unbelievable we only struck out once today."
- VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler on the win
"I thought Heath Dwyer was outstanding. He was a little excited in the early going, but he was able to settle down and gave us a great start. Matt Lees was obviously very good at the back end."
-Stiffler on the Rams' pitching
"It's great to get number one, but our focus is continuing to move throughout the season and get better each day. Wins are a byproduct of playing great baseball and being committed to your process every day."
-Stiffler on his first career win
VCU continues play in the Country Inn and Suites Elon Invitational Saturday (Feb. 16) against Marist at 4 p.m. The Rams conclude the tournament with host, Elon on Sunday (Feb. 17) at 3 p.m.