NEW BLOOD THRIVES ON OFFENSE, RAMS DEFEAT GEORGIA STATE 8-6

Final Score: VCU 8, Georgia State 6
Location: GSU Baseball Complex (Atlanta, Ga.)
Records: VCU 2-0 (0-0), GSU 1-1 (0-0)

The Short Story: VCU faced off against the Georgia State University Panthers on Saturday afternoon for their second game of the season. Despite getting down early, the Rams traded runs with the Panthers and used their high-powered offense to pull ahead and take the victory 8-6 in nine innings. 

LEADING OFF

  • Freshman Brody Cook made quite an impression in his VCU debut, going 2-for-3 with a double and a team-best 2 RBI.
  • Seeing a lot of time on the bases was junior Logan Farrar, who went 1-1 with four walks and two stolen bases.
  • Senior Jimmy Kerrigan brought home the other multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a run and RBI.
  • Sean Thompson took the win for VCU in 5.0 innings of work, giving up nine hits, four runs, striking out five and walking two. GSU starter Devin Vainer taking the loss, while Sam Donko picked up the save in 1.1 innings of work for the Rams.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Thompson pitched his way out of a leadoff single in the bottom of the first, turning a 1-6-3 double play on the second batter of the game. 
  • The relief was short lived, as the following batter, Ryan Blanton, took the next pitch deep to right off of Thompson. Blanton's home run would give Georgia State an early 1-0 lead.
  • Georgia State up two more early in the third, as Jarrett Hood knocked a chopper over the head of Mitchel Lacey at third, and Joey Roach lining a double down the right field line to score another.
  • Cody Acker found a way to push a run across in the top of the fourth for VCU, putting down a bunt that saw a runner get thrown out at second, but he beat out to first. The throw to first bounced off of Acker after he crossed the bag, allowing the Rams to score their first run of the game.
  • With the top of the fourth still rolling and runners first and second for the Rams, freshman Cook laced a beautiful hit & run through the right side for his first collegiate hit and RBI. The play scored one and cut the Panthers' lead to 3-2.
  • The Panthers responded back in the bottom of the fourth, as they manufactured a two-out RBI from Rhett Harper on a single past shortstop Matt Davis to push the lead back to two runs, 4-2.
  • Georgia State would go to the bullpen after back-to-back walks to Farrar and Darian Carpenter to start the top of the fifth, relieving Vainer with senior Marc-Andre Habeck
  • Habeck would face Walker Haymaker to start his apperance, and watched the VCU senior lace a single through the right side to score Farrar and cut the lead back to one, 4-3 with no outs.
  • With two out and two on in still in the top of the fifth, Lacey dropped a clutch hit down the right field line to score Haymaker from second, tying the game at four apiece.
  • Carpenter grounded into a double play in the top of the sixth, but at the same time scored Davis to break the tie, and give the Rams their first lead, 5-4. Davis singled to right to lead off the inning.
  • Cook boosted one into the left center gap in the top of the seventh, one-hopping the wall for an RBI double to score Acker from second. The shot upped the VCU lead to 6-4.
  • With the bases loaded in the top of the seventh and one out, a great throw from Rhett Harper on a Davis fly ball cut down Lacey at the plate for an inning-ending double-play, keeping the score 6-4.
  • The Rams tacked on another pair of runs in the top of the eighth, as Kerrigan stroked an RBI double to the left center gap, while Acker knocked a single to center just a batter later to score Kerrigan, giving the Rams a cushion at 8-4.
  • Jaylen Woullard smacked a 2-out RBI single for Georgia State in the bottom of the eighth, scoring two and cutting the VCU lead to 8-6.
  • Donko stopped the bleeding for the second consecutive day in the eighth, and shut down the Panthers in the ninth for his first save as a Ram.

FROM THE BULLPEN

  • Junior Matt Davis made a great play for the first out in the bottom of the sixth. Sliding to his right on one knee in the hole, got to the ball, spun, and tossed a missile to Carpenter at first for the out.
  • The Rams got to the opposing bullpen early for the second consecutive day, as the Rams have yet to see an opposing starter go past the fourth inning.
  • Despite the offense, VCU missed many other opportunities to cash in more runs, leaving 12 men on base for the game.
  • Eight of nine batters in the starting lineup got into the hit column.

WHAT'S NEXT

VCU will return to action tomorrow, Feb. 21 when they end their weekend in Georgia at Georgia Tech. First pitch in Atlanta against the Yellow Jackets is scheduled for 1 p.m.