Final Score: VCU 5, Oakland 2
Location: The Diamond (Richmond, Va.)
Records: VCU 8-6, Oakland 1-11
The Short Story: Clinging to a 3-2 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, the VCU Rams put up two runs to claim a 5-2 lead late and held on for the win over the Oakland Golden Grizzlies. Sophomore Zac Ching paced the offense with a 1-for-3 day with three RBI.
- Along with Ching's three RBI, Darian Carpenter checked in with one as well.
- Seven of VCU's nine batters in the lineup collected one hit during the contest.
- Alex Gransback ended 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored.
- Paul Witt and Dylan Isquirdo each scored a run as well. Witt also reached twice with a walk and hit by pitch, while Isquirdo smacked a double.
- Sean Thompson collected his third win of the season, going six innings, allowing five hits, one run, three walks, and seven strikeouts.
- Sam Donko pitched two clean innings, not allowing any hits, walks, or runs in collecting his fourth save of the season.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- VCU began the game strong in the first inning, putting up two runs in the initial frame. After Gransback reached, and Witt executed a hit & run to put runners first and third, Witt would steal second. As the throw went down, Gransback broke for the plate and scored.
- With the 1-0 lead, Zac Ching hit into a double play to end the inning. However, as the first baseman touched the bag and threw to second, a tag needed to be applied. Before the tag, Witt would score from third and give VCU the 2-0 lead.
- Oakland got on the board in the top of the fourth, as Matt DiLeo sent a single up the middle, scoring one and cutting the VCU lead to 2-1.
- Ching extended the lead back to two in the bottom of the sixth, as he flied out to right field with a sacrifice fly, scoring Gransback to push the score to 3-1.
- In the top of the eighth, it seemed Oakland might pull even. DiLeo smashed a double into center field over the head of Logan Farrar, scoring one to cut the lead to 3-2. That would put runners on second and third with nobody out, bringing in Donko to replace freshman Hayden Moore.
- With that tying run on third, Mike McGee sent a fly ball to left field. Haiden Lamb would make the catch, and toss the ball in as Ben Hart crossed the plate. However, Hart left third early, as the Rams threw to third base on the appeal and recorded the out. Now with two out, Donko would get a fly out to right field, keeping the 3-2 VCU lead intact.
- RBI's by both Ching and Carpenter in the bottom of the eighth put a cushion on the lead, making the score 5-2, which Donko preserved with a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the ninth to secure the win.
VCU will return to action tomorrow, Saturday, March 11 as they will face Oakland for Game 2 of their three-game weekend series at The Diamond. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.