Rams Fight Back to Take Game Three, 8-4 at VMI
FINAL: VCU 8, VMI 4 (Lexington, Va. - Gray-Minor Stadium)
VCU STARTERS: Cullen (CF), Bunn (LF), Cujas (3B), Mikionis (1B), Machin (SS), Buran (RF), Acker (DH), Crimi (2B), Octavi (C), Greene (P)
VMI STARTERS: Tarsovich (LF), Connorley (1B), Dickinson (CF), Winn (C), Dowdell (DH), Angus (RF), Stallings (2B), Holder (SS), Bryan (2B), Brown (P)
THE BASICS: Junior Logan Kanuik (pictured right) threw 7.2 innings of relief to lead VCU to an 8-4 victory over VMI in the third game of the series on Sunday afternoon.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- VCU (15-14) scored the game's first run in the top of the first inning. Junior Bill Cullen led off the game with a double off of the center field wall, advancing to third on a groundout by freshman James Bunn. The next batter, Joey Cujas singled into left field, giving VCU a 1-0 lead.
- VMI responded with two runs of its own in the bottom of the first inning. Jordan Tarsovich led off the inning with a homerun over the left field wall, tying the score 1-1. With one-out, Rob Dickinson singled, advancing to second on a stolen base. The next batter, Matt Winn singled to right field scoring Dickinson and giving VMI a 2-1 advantage.
- The Rams retook the lead in the top of the third inning. Cullen led off with a walk advancing to second on a single from Bunn. The next batter, Cujas doubled to left field scoring Cullen and tying the score 2-2. With one-out, sophomore Vimael Machin flew out to left field, but it was deep enough to score Bunn on a sacrifice fly, and allowing VCU to take a 3-2 lead.
- VCU picked up another run in the top of the fifth inning. Bunn reached base after a wild pitch on a strikeout. The Princeton, N.J. native advanced to second on a stolen base, and then to third on a throwing error. Senior Brent Mikionis roped a single to center field, scoring Bunn and moving VCU's lead to 4-2.
- The Black and Gold exploded for four insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning. Junior Tom Crimi led the inning with a walk, advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior Nick Octavi. Cullen and Bunn followed with a walks, loading the bases. Cujas followed with a single to center field, scoring Crimi and Cullen. After an out, Machin roped a double off the left field wall scoring, Bunn and Cujas, and giving VCU an 8-2 advantage.
- VMI plated two runs in the home half of the ninth inning. Winn singled with runners on second and third, cutting the Rams' lead to 8-4.
INISDE THE BOXSCORE
- Kanuik threw 7.2 innings, allowed four hits, two runs, and struck out six. It was the longest outing of his VCU career. Kanuik earned his third victory of the season.
- Cujas finished the game 3-for-5 with four RBIs for VCU.
- Machin finished the game 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
- Bunn extended his reach base streak to 14 games, which is the longest of any Ram this season.
- Senior Taylor Buran extended his hitting streak to 12-straight games with a double in the bottom of the eighth inning.
- Junior starting pitcher Seth Greene threw 1.1 innings allowing six hits and two runs. He didn't factor in the decision.
"It showed a lot of toughness from our guys come back to play well today, especially when we got down early. Logan Kaniuk was great for us in relief and wasn't touched until the ninth inning. The top of our lineup did a great job and I thought we did a good job competing hard with two strikes and battling for our at-bats all day."
-Coach Shawn Stiffler on the win
"I give credit to our players for the win today. We are going through a tough time with some injuries, but we have never stopped fighting. The effort has been really good, and if we continue to have that, the ball will start falling our way."
-Coach Stiffler on the road of ahead
VCU concludes its season-long nine-game road trip with a mid-week date at Maryland on Tuesday, April 9 at 4 p.m. The Rams return home on Friday, April 12 for an Atlantic 10 series against Temple.