Rams suffer first loss of season, drop 9-1 to Georgia Tech

Final Score: Georgia Tech 9, VCU 1
Location: Russ Chandler Stadium (Atlanta, Ga.)
Records: VCU 2-1 (0-0), GT 3-0 (0-0)

The Short Story: VCU squared off against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Russ Chandler Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Despite the rainy conditions, the Rams were unable to generate offense and suffered their first loss of the season, 9-1. 

LEADING OFF

  • Senior Jimmy Kerrigan led the VCU offense with two hits
  • Catcher Brett Hileman went 1-for-4 in his season debut, also scoring the lone run for the Rams on the day.
  • The other two hits for the Rams belonged to Logan Farrar and Mitchel Lacey.
  • Starting pitcher Matt Oxner took the loss, going four innings, surrendering nine hits, four runs, and striking out three.

HOW IT HAPPENED 

  • Senior Cody Acker put one in play to the right side that was mishandled by first baseman Tristin English and bounced into right field. The error allowed Hileman to score from second, breaking the ice and giving the Rams an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second 
  • Georgia Tech responded back in the bottom of the inning, as Connor Justus reached on a single, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and lastly scored on a single from Arden Pabst to even things up at 1-1.
  • The Yellow Jackets would begin to pad their lead in the bottom of the third, all beginning with a single from Wade Bailey. Bailey then stole second and took third on a wild pitch
  • With Bailey on third, Matt Gonzalez would knock home a double to the gap, scoring Bailey and giving Georgia Tech a 2-1 lead.
  • After Gonzalez's double, Kel Jonhson smacked a single through the left side to score Gonzalez, giving the Yellow Jackets a 3-1 lead.
  • Just a few batters later with Johnson on second, Trevor Craport would drop a ball in front of Farrar in center for a sharp single that would score Johnson. Georgia Tech's lead would then become 4-1 in the bottom of the third.
  • Things were quiet until the bottom of the sixth, when Pabst took a 2-0 Luke Crabb delivery over the left field fence for his first home run of the season, pushing the Georgia Tech lead to 5-1.
  • The game would break open in the bottom of the seventh, as Georgia Tech cashed in a pair of base runners on an RBI double from Craport. The two runs put the game at 7-1 in favor of the Yellow Jackets.
  • Mounting a bigger lead, the Yellow Jackets added two more in the bottom of the eighth, as Gonzalez roped a single into left field with the bases loaded to score two, pushing the Georgia Tech lead to 9-1.
  • Matthew Gorst would pitch the ninth for the Yellow Jackets, allowing one hit and one walk. However, he would shut the door on the Rams and close out the game for Georgia Tech.

FROM THE BULLPEN

  • The Rams made a pair of nice defensive plays – both Jimmy Kerrigan and Alex Gransback made diving catches to help keep innings in check.
  • With runners first and second in the bottom of the seventh and two runs already up, the Rams turned a great 6-4-3 double play to end the inning and limit damage.
  • The Rams missed opportunities early to stay at par with the Yellow Jackets, ultimately leaving eight men on base for the game.
  • Kerrigan stole his first base of the season for VCU, while Wade Bailey and Connor Justus would have a pair of steals each.
  • Both Gonzalez and Craport finished with three RBI apiece for Georgia Tech, while Arden Pabst would contribute with two.

WHAT'S NEXT

VCU will return to action this Wednesday, Feb. 24 when they host their first home game of the season at The Diamond against the University of Maryland. The Rams and Terrapins are set for a 3:00 p.m. first pitch.