RICHMOND, Va. – Michael Cheatham drove in four and scored one, but it was not enough as Virginia Commonwealth University fell to Old Dominion University 8-5 Sunday afternoon in the finale of the Colonial Athletic Association series at The Diamond.

The Rams fell to 4-5 in the CAA, 10-16 overall. The Monarchs won the series and improved to 7-5 in conference play, 14-15 overall.

ODU struck in the top of the first as Christopher Baker had a run-scoring double, Shawn Sizemore had a RBI groundout and Joey Burney followed with a run-scoring single to give the Monarchs a 3-0 lead.

VCU would answer in the bottom of the frame. Taylor Perkins drew a one-out walk and moved to second on a base hit by John Lenherr. With the runners moving, Joey Cujas reached on an error to load the bases. Cheatham crushed a 3-1 pitch to left center to clear the bases and tie the score. Cheatham came home on a two-out single by Nick Kime as the Rams took a 4-3 advantage.

The Monarchs reclaimed the lead in the second as Joshua Wright belted a three-run homer to left with two away, his third of the series and ninth of the season, to give ODU a 6-4 edge.

The Rams got one back in the bottom of the second as Perkins rapped a one-out single, moved to second on a base hit by Lenherr, advanced to third on an error and came in on a walk to Cheatham as VCU pulled to within one at 6-5.

ODU scored a pair of unearned runs in the top of the eighth to extend its lead to 8-5.

David Benson (1-2) started and took the loss, going 3.2 innings with seven hits, six runs, two walks and two strikeouts for the Rams.

Phil McCarthy (4-2) allowed eight hits and five runs (two earned) in seven innings with two walks and three strikeouts Adam Wisniewski allowed a hit and a walk in the ninth, but earned his eighth save.

February 16, 2011 2011 BASEBALL PREVIEW: INFIELD