March 11, 2013

Rams End Three-Game Losing Streak with 11-8 Victory Against Wagner

FINAL: - VCU 11, Wagner 8 (Richmond, Va. – The Diamond)

VCU STARTERS: Cullen (CF), Bunn (LF), Cujas (3B), Ayers (DH), Machin (SS), Buran (RF), Weymouth (1B), Octavi (C), Crimi (2B), Marino (P)

WAGNER STARTERS: Flynn (SS), Miller (CF), Alfano (RF), Smith (DH), Dini (3B), Keel (LF), Mazurkwicz (1B), Wasilick (2B), Gordon (C), Schmardel (P)

THE BASICS: VCU scored double-digit runs for the third time this season and held on late to defeat Wagner, 11-8, at the Diamond on Monday night. Junior Seth Greene threw five innings of relief to earn his first victory of the season for VCU.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • VCU (10-3) scored in the first inning to take an early 1-0 lead. Junior Bill Cullen led off with a walk and advanced to second on an errant pickoff attempt. Freshman James Bunn grounded out to second, but it allowed Cullen to reach third. The next batter, junior Joey Cujas plated Cullen on a sacrifice fly putting VCU up 1-0.
  • Wagner (2-9) countered with a three-run second inning. The Seahawks loaded the bases with one out and Dan Wasilick plated the Seahawks' first run on a sacrifice fly, tying the score at 1-1. The next batter, Jason Gordon roped a two-out single down the right field line clearing the bases and giving Wagner a 3-1 lead.
  • The Rams came back with a four-run second inning of their own. Three singles from senior Jordan Weymouth and juniors Nick Octavi and Tom Crimi loaded the bases for the Rams.  Cullen walked scoring Weymouth and cutting the score to 3-2. Bunn followed with a fielder's choice that tied the game, 3-3. Cujas sent a bloop single to centerfield to regain a 4-3 lead for VCU. The Rams final run came on a sacrifice fly by junior Chris Ayers to give VCU a 5-3.
  • Wagner added a run in the top of the fourth inning. Tommy Mazurkiewicz started the inning by getting hit by a pitch and advanced to third on a single from Wasilick. Mazurkiewicz came around to score on a throwing error and making the score 5-4 in favor of VCU.
  • The Seahawks tied the score in the top of the fifth inning. Nick Alfono doubled to start the inning and came around to score on a double from Nick Dini tying the game 5-5.
  • VCU took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth. The Rams loaded the bases with one out and broke the tie when Crimi walked, giving VCU a 6-5 lead. Cullen followed with a grand-slam inside-the-park homerun, making the score 10-5 VCU.  
  • The Black and Gold added a run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Cujas led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. With one out, senior Taylor Buran doubled to left field scoring Cujas and giving VCU an 11-5 advantage.
  • Wagner added three runs in the top of the ninth inning. Nick Alfano reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on a catcher's indifference. Chris Smith doubled to score Alfano and cut the lead to 11-6. Dini followed with a single, putting runners on the corners. Mazurkiewicz doubled to score both Dini and Smith and cutting the score to 11-8, in favor of the Rams.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • The win, snapped VCU's three-game losing streak.
  • Greene threw five innings scattering seven hits, and allowing only one earned run. The victory was his first victory since 2010 and second of his career.
  • Cullen hit his third homerun of the season and the Rams' second grand-slam of the season.
  • Cujas (2) and Cullen (5) each had multiple RBIs on the night.
  •  Crimi (2-for-2) collected his first hit as a VCU Ram with a bunt single in the second.

QUOTABLE
"It was a great to get back home and get back in the win column. We had great energy in batting practice and moved around the field really well. I thought that carried into the first third of the game. We executed very well and had great at bats from the get go."
- VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler on the win

"We need to continue to focus on putting together a nine inning game and that will be our focus over the next two days of practice. We have a very good Monmouth team coming to The Diamond and we are looking forward for another chance to get better this weekend."
- Stiffler on the road ahead

WHAT'S AHEAD
VCU continues its home stand with a three-game series with Monmouth. The Rams and Hawks open the series on Friday, March 15 at 6 p.m.

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