April 22, 2014

VCU BATTLES BACK TO TIE IN 9TH, BUT FALLS 5-4 IN THE 10TH TO No. 1 VIRGINIA

FINAL/10: No. 1 Virginia 5 (34-7, 16-5), VCU 4 (28-10, 9-4) (Richmond, Va.) – The Diamond

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

VIRGINIA STARTERS: Cogswell (2B), Pinero (SS), Papi (1B), McCarthy (RF), Howard (DH), Fisher (LF), Downes (CF), Irving (C), Towns (3B), Lewicki (RHP)

THE BASICS: Going into the bottom of the eighth trailing 4-2, VCU scored runs in the eighth and ninth to tie the game 4-4. A solo shot from Virginia's Brandon Downes in the tenth broke the tie and propelled Virginia to a 5-4 win, in front of 3,756 fans.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Virginia wasted little time getting on base in the first when Branden Cogswell reached on an error. The Cavaliers second baseman advanced to third on an errant pickoff attempt. After recording back-to-back outs, Joe McCarthy drove in Cogswell to score the game's first run.
  • In the bottom half of the first VCU got a lead off a single from Cody Acker to kick things off. The right fielder advanced to second on a Bunn groundout and then to third on a Lewicki wild pitch. An RBI-groundout from junior Vimael Machin plated Acker and evened the game at 1-1.
  • Senior Chris Ayers added a triple in the frame to score senior Joey Cujas from first giving the Rams a 2-1 edge.
  • A Derek Fisher solo shot to lead off the top of the second leveled the game 2-2.
  • Both clubs traded scoreless frames in the third and fourth to maintain the deadlock.
  • Virginia's Daniel Pinero led off the sixth with a single into left field. A Robbie Connan sacrifice bunt pushed Pinero to second. Pinero stole third to move 90 feet closer to scoring. Right fielder Joe McCarthy capitalized and plated Pinero on a sacrifice fly into deep right field.
  • With one out in the bottom half, sophomore James Bunn roped a double into right center to chase Virginia starter Artie Lewicki. Bunn went on to advance to third but was left stranded to end the frame.
  • In the top of the seventh, Virginia put runners at second and third with one out threatening to add insurance run. UVA's Nick Howard sent a chopper to the third base side and Cujas made the snag and threw home to nab the runner and keep the score 3-2.
  • The Cavaliers loaded the bases with one out in the eighth but the 'Hoos were only able to push one across on a Pinero sacrifice fly to center field.
  • VCU returned the favor with an Ayers walk to leave the bases full, the next hitter senior Bill Cullen lined an RBI single through the right side to pull the Rams within one, 4-3.
  • In the ninth VCU paired an Acker walk and a Cujas single to put runners on the corners with two outs.  The next hitter, Machin worked a five-pitch walk to load the bases. An error from UVA allowed Acker to score and knot the game at 4-4.
  • UVA center fielder Brandon Downes led off the 10th with a solo shot over the left field wall to regain the lead 5-4.
  • Freshman Matt Davis led off the 10th with a single through the right side, an error put senior Trevor Marino and runners at first and second. After a groundout moved the runners up 90 feet Bunn walked to load the bases. UVA got out of the frame unharmed and capped off the 5-4 win.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • In a pitch count shortened start, Daniel Concepcion went 3.0 innings allowing one earned run on six hits, striking out one.
  • The Rams rallied to tie it in the ninth, resulting in UVA's Nick Howard's first blown save of the year in 14 tries.
  • With his triple in the first, Ayers now has three career triples, two of which have come against UVA.
  • Sophomore Cody Acker has now reached base in 25 straight contests after his single in the first inning.
  • Each of the Rams top eight hitters recorded a hit on the night.
  • Cujas' 2-for-4 day marked the third baseman's 16th multiple hit game, which leads the team.
  • VCU loaded the bases in the final three frames of the contest

QUOTABLE

The guys did a great job scoring late in the game to tie it with runs in the eighth and the ninth, and giving us opportunities to win the game in the eighth, ninth and tenth.

VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler

I thought we did an unbelievable job competing for our at-bats, and it showed in the six walks we forced.

VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler

I'm excited about how we competed even though you're never happy about any type of loss but to have the winning run within 90-feet two innings in a row showed how hard we competed there late.

VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler

WHAT'S NEXT

VCU leaves the Commonwealth of Virginia first time since April 1 when the travel to Rhode Island for a three-game set beginning on Friday.

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