Final Score: Liberty 5, VCU 4
Location: Liberty Baseball Stadium (Lynchburg, Va.)
Records: VCU 0-1, Liberty 1-0
The Short Story: Young talent reigned supreme for the VCU Rams on Opening Day, as three of the four runs the Rams would score came of the bat of a freshman or sophomore. However, five runs on four hits for the Liberty Flames would be enough, as the Rams would fall 5-4.
- VCU fought back from two deficits to threaten with base runners.
- Daane Berezo, Paul Witt, and Zac Ching all had multi-hit efforts in the game. Berezo and Witt both added doubles as well.
- Liam Hibbits knocked in his first hit and RBI out of the way, while Brett Willett added a double as well.
- Josh Simon added an RBI, while defensively also throwing out two base runners from behind the plate.
- Benjamin Dum had a strong pitching performance, tossing three scoreless innings giving up one hit and striking out a team-high four.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Steven Carpenter got things started in the top of the first with a base hit as the first batter of the game. Paul Witt would get hit by a pitch two batters later setting up some base runners for the Rams. However, a double play ball would end the inning.
- Liberty would get on the board in the bottom of the first, as Jonathan Embry would smack a two-run home run over the right field fence to put the Flames up 2-0 early.
- VCU grabbed both runs back in the top of the second, as both Brett Willett and Zac Ching reached via a walk and hit by pitch. Freshman Liam Hibbits would knock in Willett with a single through the right side to cut the game to 2-1.
- Josh Simon would follow up Hibbits at-bat with a safety squeeze that he bunted up the first base line. The play allowed Ching to score, tying the game at 2-2.
- Connor Gillispie and Ben Dum would combine for five scoreless innings from the second through the sixth, holding Liberty to only one hit through those frames.
- Things would stay silent offensively for both sides until the bottom of the seventh inning. Tre Todd would knock a three-run home run for Liberty, putting the Flames ahead 5-2.
- The Rams would once again respond offensively in the top of the eighth, as Ching collected his second hit of the day. The hit would score a run, cutting back into the Liberty lead, 5-3.
- After holding Liberty scoreless in the bottom of the eighth, the Rams fought back with another run in the bottom of the ninth. With two out, Witt delivered an RBI double to the right field gap, scoring Haiden Lamb from second.
- With runners second and third, VCU couldn't get another run through as a strikeout ended the ballgame.
VCU will return to action tomorrow, February 17, for game two of the three-game series at Liberty. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. pending weather.