Trio of home runs, early offense propel Rams to 15-11 win on Opening Day

Final Score: VCU 15, Kennesaw State 11
Location: Stillwell Baseball Stadium (Kennesaw, Ga.)
Records: VCU 1-0 (0-0), KSU 0-1 (0-0)

The Short Story: VCU faced off against the Kennesaw State Owls for both teams first game of the 2016 season. The Rams put the game out of reach early, as both sides put up plenty of offense, with VCU prevailing 15-11. 

 

LEADING OFF 

  • James Bunn set the bar high early in the season, going 4-for-5 with two triples and a 3-run home run in the second inning. He also added five RBI and four runs scored.
  • Starting pitcher Brooks Vial went 6.0 innings, giving up eight hits, four runs, striking out two and walking one.
  • Walker Haymaker made the biggest splash of the game, blasting a Grand Slam in the third inning, giving him four RBI on the day.
  • Matt Davis and Darian Carpenter each chipped in with two RBI apiece. Davis went deep in the first inning for a two-run blast, while Carpenter provided two RBI singles.

HOW IT HAPPENED 

  • Bunn got the ball rolling in the first inning with a leadoff triple off the center field wall. Moments later, Davis knocked a 2-run home run over the right field fence, giving the Rams a 2-0 lead. 
  • The triple wasn't enough for Bunn, as he got the scoring started in the top of the second, with a home run to left field, moving the Rams lead to 6-0. 
  • Carpenter got in the action, smacking an RBI single to add another to the scoreboard, pushing the score to 7-0 in the top of the second.
  • After Daane Berezo and Mitchel Lacey led off the third via a free pass, Bunn added to his collection with his second triple of the day down the right field line, scoring the pair and putting the score to 9-0.
  • With three already scored on the inning, Haymaker knocked a grand slam to left center to break things open, giving the Rams a 14-0 lead.
  • With three scoreless innings to begin his VCU career under his belt, Vial cracked in the bottom of the fourth, allowing two runs on a double to Alex Liquori and a sac fly by Jeremy Howell to score Liquori, putting the score to 14-2 after four innings of play.
  • Kennesaw State added two more in the bottom of the sixth to cut the VCU lead to 14-4, with a sac fly from Brennan Morgan and a ground out RBI from Howell.
  • Austin Upshaw and Justin Motley finished off the days scoring, going back-to-back with solo home runs for Kennesaw State in the bottom of the eighth to put the score to 14-7.
  • Another RBI single from Carpenter added to the Rams effort in the top of the ninth, scoring Bunn and giving the Rams a 15-7 lead. 

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE

  • Jimmy Kerrigan made a sensational play to end the bottom of the fourth inning, leaping at the fence to rob a home run.
  • Each of the three pitchers for VCU made their debut for the Black & Gold
  • The Rams hit three home runs, with each one flying over the wall at a different dimension (left, center, and right).

WHAT'S NEXT

VCU will return to action tomorrow, Feb. 20 when they travel to Georgia State. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.