VCU Splits Satuday Doubleheader with Charlotte, but Wins Weekend Series
FINAL: Charlotte 3, VCU 2 (Charlotte N.C. – Robert and Myriam Hayes Stadium)
VCU STARTERS: Cullen (CF), Bunn (LF), Cujas (3B), Mikionis (1B), Machin (SS), Buran (RF), Weymouth(2B), Prentiss (DH), Haymaker (C), Farrar (P)
CHARLOTTE STARTERS: Elseser (LF), Green (CF), Basen (3B), Seager (1B), Elwood (2B), Lang (C), Roland (SS), Montalbano (RF), Daddio (DH), Hamilton (P)
THE BASICS: VCU erased a 5-0 deficit, but fell to Charlotte on Brett Lang's walk-off homerun in the bottom of the ninth in game two of a three game series in Charlotte, N.C.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Charlotte (17-9, 3-2 Atlantic 10) scored two runs in the bottom of the second inning. With one out and Brad Elwood on first, Lang singled advancing the runners to second and third. The next batter, Justin Roland double down the right field line scoring the game's first run. Tony Montalbano followed with an RBI groundout giving Charlotte a 2-0 lead.
- The 49ers went back to work in the bottom of the third inning scoring three runs. J.J. Elseser singled to start the inning, advancing to third when Michael Green laid down a bunt, that pulled Weymouth off the bag at first. With runners on second and third, Shane Basen singled scoring Elseser, putting Charlotte up 3-0. The next batter, Justin Seager grounded out allowing Green to score. The final run, came on a single from Roland to give Charlotte a 5-0 lead.
- VCU (13-11, 1-4) exploded for six runs, brining 11 batters to the plate in the top of the fifth inning. Seniors Taylor Buran and Jordan Weymouth and junior Landon Prentiss started the rally with back-to-back-to-back singles, loading the bases. The next batter, junior Walker Haymaker singled scoring Buran and Weymouth, cutting the lead to 5-2. Junior Bill Cullen walked with one out, putting runners on first and second. The next batter James Bunn reached on a bunt single, loading the bases. Junior Joey Cujas followed with a single plating Prentiss. The next batter, senior Brent Mikionis flew out to center field, but it was deep enough to score Cullen from third, cutting the lead to 5-4. After sophomore Vimael Machin was hit by a pitch, Buran roped a double left-center-field, giving VCU a 6-5 lead.
- The Rams added one more in the top of the sixth inning. Prentiss and Haymaker started the rally with back-to-back singles. Cullen flew out to center, but the ball was to deep enough to allow, pinch runner freshman Cody Acker to advance to third. Bunn then laid down a bunt, scoring Acker and giving the Rams a 7-5 lead.
- Charlotte rallied back and scored a run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Montalbano led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch, advancing to second on a single by Elseser. The next batter, Green roped a double, cutting Charlotte's deficit to 7-6.
- The 49ers regained the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning. With two outs, Nick Daddio, Elseser and Green all reached on a singles, loading the bases for Charlotte. The next batter, Basen doubled down the left field line scoring two and putting the 49ers up 8-7.
- VCU loaded the bases with two outs, and Acker was hit by a pitch to tie the score 8-8 and force the game to the bottom of the ninth inning.
- Lang led off the ninth inning walk-off home run to left field, giving the 49ers a 9-8 win.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Buran finished the game 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored.
- Senior starting pitcher Ryan Farrar threw 5.2 innings and did not factor in the decision. He allowed six runs, on six hits, with two strike outs.
- Sophomore Matt Lees was charged with his second loss of the season.
- Cujas has reached base safely in 11 straight games for VCU. That ties a season-high streak by James Bunn, who also had 11-game streak.
- Haymaker finished the game 2-for-3 collecting two RBIs. He registered his first career hit and RBIs in the top of the fifth inning.
FINAL: VCU 4, Charlotte 3 – (Charlotte, N.C. – Robert and Myriam Hayes Stadium)
VCU STARTERS: Cullen (CF), Bunn (LF), Cujas (3B), Mikionis (1B), Machin (SS), Buran (RF), Weymouth (2B), Acker (DH), Octavi (C), Greene (P)
CHARLOTTE STARTERS: Green (CF), Basen (3B), Elwood (2B), Seagar (LF), Montalbano (RF), Lang (C), Gallello (DH), Roland (SS), Dunnegan (1B), Hudgens (P)
THE BASICS: VCU rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth and escaped a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth inning to win the series against Charlotte in final game of the series by the score of 4-3.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Charlotte started the scoring in the bottom of the second inning. Seager was hit by a pitch, advancing to second on a single by Montalbano. Seager came around to score on back-to-back groundouts, with Derrick Gallello getting the RBI.
- The 49ers added two more runs in the bottom of the third inning. Green and Basen reached on back-to-back singles. Elwood followed suite with a single, scoring Green and advancing Basen to third. The final run scored on a single from Seager, giving Charlotte a 3-0 lead.
- VCU scored two runs in the top of the fifth inning. Acker led off the inning, advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt from junior Nick Octavi. Cullen then reached when he was hit by a pitch. After an out, Cujas roped a double down the left field line, scoring both runners and cutting the Charlotte lead to 3-2.
- The Rams added two runs in the top of the ninth inning to take the lead. Buran and Weymouth started the rally with back-to-back singles. Acker bunted into a fielder's choice, retiring Buran at third and putting Weymouth at second. Redshirt junior Robert Malan, who was pinch hitting, roped a single to right field, scoring Weymouth and tying the game 3-3. Cullen, the next batter, sent a deep fly ball to center, scoring Acker on a sacrifice fly, allowing VCU to take a 4-3 lead.
- Charlotte loaded the bases in the ninth inning with one out and had a chance to win. Pinch hitter Nick Daddio lined out hard to Weymouth, who threw to first for the double play to end the game.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Redshirt junior starting pitcher Seth Greene threw 6.2 innings, scattering eight hits, and allowing three runs. He did not factor in the decision.
- Kanuik threw the final 2.1 innings, earning his second win of the season for the Rams. He allowed only one hit and walked two.
- Cujas, who went 2-for-4 with two RBI, extended his reached base to 12 straight games. It is the longest streak of the season for any Ram.
- Buran finished 2-for-3 in game two. In both games today he went a combined 5-for-7.
- Malan's RBI single in the top of the ninth inning was his first RBI of his career.
"It's a great feeling to win a series on the road. The exciting thing is we really played well all weekend. This is the best we have played offensively in a couple of weeks, we swung the bat well and competed for our at-bats. The guys played extremely hard all weekend long. We went through a tough stretch there with some injuries, but the effort is there. As long as the effort is there, good things will happen."
-Coach Shawn Stiffler on the series win
"In the second game I was really proud of the contribution from a couple of different guys. Seth Greene coming in and filling a starter role in game three, he did a great job for us, throwing deep into the game. And then Rob Malan coming in off of the bench and getting a huge, huge base hit to tie the game in the ninth."
-Stiffler on the game two win
VCU continues its nine-game road trip with a mid-week game at Virginia Tech on Tuesday, April 2. First pitch between the Rams and Hokies is set for 5:30.