FINAL: VCU 8, Monmouth 3 – (The Diamond – Richmond, Va.)
VCU STARTERS: Cullen (CF), Bunn (LF), Cujas (3B), Ayers (DH), Machin (SS), Buran (RF), Weymouth (1B), Octavi (C), Crimi (2B)
MONMOUTH STARTERS: Wilgus (CF), Guida (SS), Gronsky (2B), Perrett (DH), Sweeney (RF), Banford (LF), Stewart (1B), Perry (C), Alessandrine (3B)
THE BASICS: VCU exploded for five runs in the bottom of the third inning, and used a strong start from junior Tyler Buckley to beat Monmouth 8-3 on Saturday at The Diamond.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the third inning when VCU's (11-4) offense posted its biggest rally of the day. Junior Bill Cullen started the rally with a two-out walk and reached to third when freshman James Bunn reached on an error. Junior Joey Cujas singled to center field plating Cullen, giving VCU a 1-0 lead. Classmate Chris Ayers followed suite with an RBI single to push the Rams' cushion to 2-0. Sophomore Vimael Machin and senior Taylor Buran followed with back-to-back RBI doubles giving VCU a commanding 5-0 lead.
- Monmouth (4-8) responded with a run of its own in the top of the fourth inning. With the bases loaded and two outs Steve Wilgus singled to right field to cut the VCU lead to 5-1.
- VCU added three more runs in the home half of the fourth inning. Junior Tom Crimi doubled with one out to start the Rams rally. After a Cullen walk, Bunn doubled home Crimi giving VCU a 6-1 lead. With the bases loaded, Ayers brought home Cullen on a sacrifice fly making the Rams lead 7-1. The final RBI was picked up by Machin, who singled into right field giving the Rams their largest lead of the day 8-1.
- Monmouth scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning. Back-to-back singles by Carey Jacobsen and Dave Moreno started the Hawks rally. With one out, Jon Guida brought home Jacobsen with a sacrifice fly. Monmouth added one more run on an infield single by pinch hitter Max Miller cutting the VCU lead to 8-3.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Buckley threw six innings to earn his second victory of the season. The Scranton, Pa. native fanned one and scattered eight hits in his fourth start of the season.
- Redshirt Junior Seth Greene earned the save after pitching three innings. Green allowed two runs and five hits in his second save of the season.
- Ayers, Buran, and Machin each had two RBIs on the day for VCU.
- Machin and Buran also each had a pair of hits for the Rams.
"It was good to get back in the win column and win the middle game of the series today. It gives us an opportunity to win the series tomorrow if we play well. We took advantage of a costly mistake by them in the third inning and we were able to string together some two-out RBIs. We always preach two-out RBIs win baseball games and we had five in a row today."
- Coach Shawn Stiffler on the win
VCU and Monmouth conclude their three-game series tomorrow, March 17, at The Diamond. First pitch is now scheduled for 11 a.m.