RAMS WIN WILD ONE OVER FURMAN 14-9

FINAL: VCU 14 (4-1), Furman 9 (3-2)  (Greenville, S.C.) – Latham Field

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

FURMAN STARTERS: Heath Burton (RF), Hunter Burton (SS), Harrison (DH), Ohmstede (3B), Abrams (1B), Simpson (2B), MacLatchie (C), Warford (P)

THE BASICS: VCU scored a season high 14 runs in a 14-9 come from behind victory over Furman on Friday night. Trailing 9-7 in the top of the eighth the Rams exploded for a seven run inning to blow past the Paladins. On the day the Black and Gold had four hitters record multiple RBIs, including five for senior catcher Chris Ayers.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • VCU (4-1) started the game active on the base paths as sophomore Acker reached on error, classmate James Bunn pushed Acker to third on a single into right field. With runners on the corners the Rams hit into a double play bringing home Bunn to give the Black and Gold a 1-0 lead after the top of the first.
  • In the bottom frame Furman (3-2) countered with a run of their own to even the score at 1-1. Leadoff man Heath Burton walked to get aboard, advancing to second on a stolen base. With one out Greg Harrison singled to right to bring home Burton for the first Furman run.
  • The Rams batted around in the second to score four runs and take a commanding 5-1 lead. Farrar led off the frame with a single into right field, advancing to second on a wild pitch. Freshman Matt Davis drove Farrar home doubling into left center, to give VCU a 2-1 lead. The reigning Atlantic 10 Newcomer of the Week later came home on a fielder's choice in which Davis beat the throw to the plate.
  • VCU continued to flex their offensive power in the second as the Rams loaded the bases on two occasions in the inning. Senior Chris Ayers' two RBI single stretching the Rams lead to four runs.
  • Ayers added to his RBI total in the fourth driving a pitch into deep centerfield for a two run home run.
  • Furman answered in the home half with five runs to close the gap to just a single run, 7-6. The inning was highlighted by a Heath Burton three run home over the left field fence.
  • The Paladins took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the eighth after a Greg Harrison two RBI double. Alex Abrams' drove an RBI single up the middle scoring Harrison and giving Furman a 9-7 advantage.
  • Senior Trevor Marino opened the eighth inning with a single into left. The Rams first baseman moved from first to third on a Paladins balk and wild pitch. Acker capitalized with Marino in scoring position lofting an RBI single into right field.
  • The Rams went on to tie the game in the frame as Machin's RBI single to bring home Acker and tie the score, 9-9. Ayers broke the tie lofting an RBI single just into left field for his fifth RBI of the contest.
  • That eighth inning the Rams scored seven runs and picked up RBIs from four different players (Acker, Machin, Ayers, Cullen and Marino). The seven run frame gave VCU the 14-9 lead.
  • Junior Thomas Gill posted back-to-back scoreless Furman frames to preserve a wild 14-9 win in Greenville, S.C.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • Starting pitcher Heath Dwyer went 6.0 innings striking out a season high seven batters, which stands as the most K's for any Rams hurler in a game this season.
  • Chris Ayers' two home run in the fourth inning marked the first long ball hit by the Rams this spring. The five RBI day also marked the first time the catcher posted multiple RBIs in one game.
  • Cujas' infield single in the second inning extended the seniors hitting steak out to 10 games dating back to last May.
  • The four runs scored by the Rams in the second inning are the most runs scored by the Black and Gold in a single inning this season.
  • VCU batted around twice on the day, in the second inning and the eighth inning. In the two innings combined the Rams scored 11 of their 14 runs.
  • Coming into the game VCU had totaled two runs in the eighth inning all season, today the Rams plated seven in the frame.
  • Junior Thomas Gill picked up his first win as a Ram on the day to improve his record to 1-1 on the year.

QUOTABLE

The comeback Rams do it again. The big thing for me is I thought throughout the whole game we continued to compete offensively. The guys continue to string at bats together, the big four run inning in the second, the Chris Ayers two-run homer and we took advantage on a couple of their errors in the eighth. The guys are really competing up and down the lineup and they continue to stay focused and have a strong belief in each other.
- VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler 

The numbers don't show it but I don't think we pitched nearly as bad as the line score shows. We struck out ten and only walked one and every time that Furman was able to put runs up on the board the following inning we were able to throw up zeros so I think Heath (Dwyer) and Thomas Gill did a great job there.

- VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler

This is going to be a wild series. Furman's a very good baseball team and they're going to continue to play hard throughout the weekend and it's gonna take everyone we have on the field and on the bench to get us through it.

- VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler

 
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