FINAL: VCU 2, Saint Joseph's 0 – (The Diamond – Richmond, Va.)
VCU STARTERS: Cullen (CF), Bunn (LF), Cujas (3B), Ayers (DH), Machin (SS), Buran (RF), Marino (1B), Weymouth (2B), Haymaker (C), Farrar (P)
SAINT JOSEPH'S STARTERS: Renner (2B), Pater (CF), Kumpel (RF), O'Keefe (C), Hueth (LF), Kancylarz (3B), Muha (DH), Cirillo (SS), Brue (1B),
THE BASICS: VCU plated two runs in the bottom of the first inning on RBIs from junior Chris Ayers and sophomore Vimael Machin. The two runs were enough for senior starting pitcher Ryan Farrar, who scattered three hits over eight scoreless innings, as the Rams completed a three-game sweep over Saint Joseph's with a 2-0 win on Sunday at The Diamond.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Saint Joseph's (2-3) first threat came in the top of the first inning. Ryan Pater was hit by pitch and advanced to third on a single by Greg Kumpel. With runners on the corners with one out, Farrar retired the final two batters, recording a strike out and getting a groundout, in order to keep the score tied 0-0.
- For the third straight game, VCU (5-0) scored a run in their half of the first inning. Junior Bill Cullen and freshman James Bunn set the table for the middle of the line up by reaching base with nobody out. After a strikeout, Ayers singled to right field bringing home Cullen and giving VCU a 1-0 lead. Machin followed suit with a single to bringing home Bunn making the score 2-0 after one inning.
- Farrar pitched out of a runners on the corners jam in the top of the sixth innings with two outs. Kumpel singled with one out and advanced to second on a groundout. After an error there were runners on the corners, but Farrar picked up the strike out to end the inning.
- VCU had chances throughout, but Saint Joseph's defense and pitching were able to get out of couple jams. The Hawks turned two double plays in the fourth and fifth to avoid potential VCU rallies.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- VCU is 5-0 for the first time since 1989. That season, the Rams started 11-0.
- The Rams scored in the first inning of every game in the series and has scored a first inning run in four-of-five games this season.
- VCU is yet to trail this season, the Rams have held the lead or been tied in all 45 innings this season.
- The Black and Gold recorded nine hits for the second straight day and third time this season.
- Ayers recorded his first multi-hit performance of the season, while Weymouth finished with his second two-hit game.
- Farrar scattered three hits over his eight scoreless innings, striking out six and walking just one. The Mechanicsville, Va. native picked up his second win of the season and 10th of his career.
- Junior Seth Greene pitched the final inning to earn his first career save.
"We played well all weekend, but we need continue to do a better job with men on base. One thing that we stressed to the guys is that if you keep playing hard, playing with energy and with a plan, the execution will come. Hats off to Saint Joseph's, they pitched really well this weekend. Overall, I am really proud of our guys, we got a lead in the first inning of every game [this series] and held on. Hopefully these close games will help us down the road."
-Head Coach Shawn Stiffler on the win
"Today was obviously about Ryan Farrar. He goes eight innings, gives up three hits, strikes out six, gives up one walk. He was great in his first outing at home. He was very consistent for us last year and we are going to need him to be the same this year."
- Stiffler on starting pitcher Ryan Farrar
"It doesn't matter where you are or who you are playing, a sweep is outstanding and it's not easy to do. Obviously to have a conference foe to do it against, it allowed us to kind of set a tone of what we are going to bring to our new conference."
- Stiffler on the sweep
"It's great to get off to a big start, but we have 51 more. You can't get caught up on win streaks. We just have to go out in concentrate on every pitch, winning pitches and at bats and throwing strikes. If we continue to do that, we'll have a chance to win a lot of games."
- Stiffler on VCU's 5-0 start
"I was struggling a little bit at the beginning, trying to find the strike zone. After a couple of innings, I settled in and was able to keep us in the ball game. It was a tight game so I was trying to keep them scoreless as long as I could."
- Senior Ryan Farrar on his performance
"I think it has to do a lot with our depth. It is competition every day at practice and everybody wants to play, everybody wants to win. We have some fire under us right now, and we've been ready to go."
-Farrar on the 5-0 start
VCU hits the road for the next four games. The Rams open up midweek play with a trip to East Carolina on Tuesday, Feb. 25, before heading to Charleston, S.C. for the Charleston Crab House Shootout presented by Homewood Suites on March 1-3.