Rams Battle to Tie Game in the Ninth; Fall in Extras to Maryland, 6-5
FINAL: Maryland 6, VCU 5 – 11 innings (College Park, Md. – Bob Smith Stadium)
VCU STARTERS: Cullen (CF), Bunn (LF), Cujas (3B), Mikionis (1B), Machin (SS), Buran (RF), Marino (1B), Crimi (2B), Octavi (C) Black (P)
MARYLAND STARTERS: White (CF), Wade (1B), Covissar (2B), Martir (C), Kiene (DH), Olenski (LF), Schmit (SS), Papio (RF), Cuas (3B) Robinson (P)
THE BASICS: VCU rallied to erase a three-run deficit, but fell to Maryland on a walk-off wild pitch on Tuesday afternoon at Bob Smith Stadium in College Park, Md. Junior Bill Cullen collected three-RBIs for VCU.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- VCU's (15-15) offense went to work in the top of the first inning. Cullen led off the game with a single, advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt from freshman James Bunn, who reached on a first a fielding error. Junior Joey Cujas followed with a single, loading the bases. Brent Mikionis grounded into a double play, allowing Cullen to score and giving VCU a 1-0 lead.
- The Rams added another run in the top of the second. Senior Taylor Buran led off the inning with a bunt single, advancing to second on stolen base. Buran advanced to third on a groundout by junior Tom Crimi. With two outs, Nick Octavi singled in the infield, scoring Buran and putting VCU on top 2-0.
- Maryland scored three-runs in the home half of the second to take a 3-2 lead. With one out, Greg Olenski and Blake Schmit reached on back-to-back singles. The next batter, Anthony Papio doubled down the right field line, scoring both Olenski and Schmit. Papio came around to score on a two-out RBI single by Charlie White, giving Maryland a 3-2 lead.
- The Terrapins added another run in the bottom of the fifth inning. White led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch advancing to third on two stolen bases. White came around to score on a double by Kyle Convissar, giving Maryland a 4-2 advantage.
- Papio homered to right field, extending the Terps lead to 5-2, in the bottom of the sixth inning.
- The Rams scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning. Junior Trevor Marino led off the inning with a walk advancing to second on a single from Crimi. After a sacrifice bunt by Octavi, the Rams had runners on second and third. The next batter, Cullen roped a single to right field scoring both Marino and Crimi and cutting the deficit to 5-4.
- VCU scored the tying run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Marino led off the inning with a single, advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by Crimi. Freshman Cody Acker delivered a one-out single, putting runners on the corners. The next batter, Cullen, tied the game with an RBI groundout to shortstop.
- Maryland won the game in the bottom of the 11th inning. LaMonte Wade led off the inning with a single advancing to second when Convissar was hit by a pitch. The next batter, Kevin Martir bunted the runners to second and third. On an intentional walk, there was a wild pitch, allowing Wade to score from third and winning the game for the Terrapins 6-5.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- The game was the fourth extra inning game (all mid-week games) of the season for the Rams. VCU falls to 1-3 in those contests.
- Buran extended his season-long hitting streak to 13 games. He has also reached base in 14-consecutive games.
- Cullen finished the day 2-for-5 with three RBIs.
- Octavi collected his first career RBI with his single in the second inning.
- Freshman starting pitcher Dan Black recorded a career-long four innings, scattering four hits and three runs. He didn't factor in the decision.
- Sophomore Matt Lees threw 3.1 innings of relief allowing just one hit and striking out two.
- Freshman Hunter Absher was charged with the loss.
"It is a disappointing loss because I felt that we competed at the plate and on the mound well enough to win the game today. I thought throughout the day we competed for our at-bats. Over the last three or four games we have competed much better for our at-bats and I think that is a good sign. I am thrilled with how hard we are playing, even though we have come out on the short end. If we continue to fight hard, we will have a great weekend."
-Coach Shawn Stiffler on the game
VCU returns home for a five-game home stand starting on Friday, April 12 against Atlantic 10 foe Temple. The Rams and Owls meet at the Diamond part of the HDL Inc. Athletic Village, first pitch is set for 6 p.m.