RAMS SWEEP PLAY AT THE BATTLE IN MIDTOWN

FINAL: VCU 5 (3-0), Georgia Tech 3 (1-2) (Atlanta, Ga.) – Russ Chandler Field

VCU STARTERS: Acker (RF), Bunn (LF), Cujas (3B), Machin (SS), Cullen (CF), Davis (2B), Farrar (DH), Marino (1B), Octavi (C), Howie (P)

GEORGIA TECH STARTERS: Innis (CF), Smith (1B), Gonzalez (3B), Murray (DH), Hyde (SS), Pabst (C), Wruble (LF), Peurifoy (RF), Justus (2B), Heddinger (P)

THE BASICS: The Rams used a two out rally in the third to propel VCU past host Georgia Tech, 5-3. All three runs in the inning came off of RBI doubles from three consecutive batters (Bill Cullen, Matt Davis and Logan Farrar). Freshman Matt Blanchard picked up the win for the Rams in his first college relief appearance. With the win VCU exited the Battle in Midtown as the only undefeated team in the tournament.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The Battle in Midtown hosts got on the scoreboard in the first inning. Keenan Innis led off the game with a bunt single to get aboard. The Georgia Tech (1-2) center fielder later scored off of an A.J. Murray groundout RBI.
  • Senior Bill Cullen began the second inning getting on base after getting hit by a Josh Heddinger pitch. Cullen later s VCU's (3-0) first run, with the help of a senior Nick Octavi RBI single into center field. The Rams run knotted the game at 1-1
  • Georgia Tech regained the lead during the bottom of the second. Arden Pabst walked to start the frame, Grant Wruble singled to right to put runners at first and second for the Jackets. A Ryan Peurifoy sac bunt advanced the runners and a Justus RBI groundout scored Pabst, making the score 2-1 in favor of the Yellow Jackets.
  • The Rams' bats were at it again in the visitors half of the third. Bunn reached to open the frame on a Georgia Tech error. Working with two outs in the inning the Rams received three consecutive RBI doubles from Cullen, Matt Davis and Logan Farrar. VCU's three runs gave the Rams a 4-2 advantage.
  • The Yellow Jackets nearly scored in the sixth inning, with runners at second and third Justus belted a sacrifice fly into right field. VCU's throw in from sophomore Cody Acker nabbed Pabst at the plate to end the inning and preserve the Rams lead.
  • With two outs in the seventh the Rams rallied again, Bunn reached base off of a Yellow Jackets error. Cujas followed up the error roping a double into right to score Bunn and increase the VCU advantage to 5-2.
  • Georgia Tech loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth and coach Shawn Stiffler went to the bullpen to bring on junior right-handed pitcher Thomas Gill. The righty struck out Justus looking to end the inning and preserve VCU's lead.
  • In the bottom of the ninth and one out the Yellow Jackets' Thomas Smith drew a walk to keep the host's hopes alive. Matt Gonzalez capitalized with an RBI double to plate Smith and cut VCU's lead to 5-3. Georgia Tech's next two hitters grounded out to end the frame, giving VCU it's second 3-0 start in the past two seasons.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • In his first appearance as a Ram JoJo Howie went four strong innings, allowing two runs and four hits against the 2013 NCAA tournament team.
  • After hitting two doubles against Old Dominion the night before Matt Davis recorded another double in the third inning to increase his season total to three.
  • Davis has also hit safely in his first three games as a Ram, the freshman is currently hitting .500.
  • With Cujas' RBI double in the seventh the senior extended his hitting streak to eight games dating back to last season.
  • Making his debut as a Blanchard went 3.2 innings in relief to get his first win, striking out two with two hits allowed.
  • Junior Thomas Gill closed the books on the Yellow Jackes going 1.1 innings to grab his first save as a Ram.

QUOTABLE

It was an unbelievable job by the assistant coaches, having the guys prepared, having a plan in place on the pitching mound and offensively to be ready to win this weekend. All the credit goes to the guys, all 27 innings and all three games they played with great intensity.

- VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler

I thought the difference in the weekend was two things: our bullpen went 13 innings and only allowed two runs, as well as our approach with two outs and two strikes, we really drove in a lot of runs. We were able to extend at bats with two strikes and add pitch counts to opponent pitchers with two outs. That allowed us to pick up a lot of RBIs with two outs.

- VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler

It shows a lot about our team to come back and win, not just today but in all three games this weekend. We're ready to get back to Richmond, get into the rhythm of the season and we're very excited about this group.

- VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler


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