Baseball breaks out for 14 runs, defeat South Dakota State

Final Score: VCU 14, South Dakota State 8
Location: Brooks Field (Wilmington, N.C.)
Records: VCU 3-2 (0-0), SDSU 0-6 (0-0)

The Short Story: An early morning matchup brought the VCU Rams against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits on Saturday in Wilmington, N.C. It would be the Rams playing the roll of the early bird by putting up 14 unanswered runs from the third inning on after being down 5-0 to take their third win of the season. 

LEADING OFF

  • Senior Jimmy Kerrigan had himself a day, going a team-best 3-for-5 with three singles, two RBI and a walk. He also played great defense, including being part of a heads-up double play
  • Freshman Zac Ching collected a multi-hit game in his first start in Black & Gold, going 2-for-4 with two RBI, two runs scored, and a walk.
  • Matt Davis and Darian Carpenter also put together multi-hit games for VCU. Carpenter went 2-for-5 with an RBI, three runs scored, and a walk. Davis also went 2-for-5 with a double and triple, and grabbing a team-high three RBI
  • VCU starter Sean Thompson took the win in a 5.0 inning appearance, giving up five hits, five runs, walking two and striking out six.
  • Matt Jamer came out of the bullpen for the Rams, and pitched 4.0 innings, scattering five hits and two walks in earning his first save of the season. The only blip on his day was a three-run home run to Newt Johnson in the seventh inning. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • South Dakota drew first blood, after having two reach in the top of the first, Newt Johnson took Sean Thompson deep for a three-run home run to give the Jackrabbits a 3-0 lead early.
  • Paul Jacobson added a pair for South Dakota State, as he clubbed a two-run shot to extend the SDSU lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the second.
  • The Rams got on the board in the top of the third, as an infield pop up with two out from Darian Carpenter found it's way through the wind, off a glove, and to the ground as both Brody Cook and Zac Ching each scored to make the score 5-2.
  • Keeping the pressure on, the Rams scored one more in the top of the third, as Daane Berezo was able to score on a wild pitch to cut the Jackrabbit lead to two runs, 5-3.
  • Freshman Zac Ching got the scoring started in the top of the fourth inning for VCU, as he went inside-out with his swing to place the ball into right field, scoring Brody Cook and Jimmy Kerrigan to tie the game at 5-5.
  • A few batters later, Matt Davis turned on a pitch and knocked the ball down the left field line, scoring Ching and Berezo for two RBI and breaking the tie, 7-5, giving VCU their first lead of the game.
  • With one out still in the top of the fourth, Carpenter stepped up and clubbed a double down the left field line, scoring Logan Farrar to extend the Rams lead to 8-5.
  • Rounding out the top of the fourth, Walker Haymaker sent a single into left field on a 3-2 pitch to score Carpenter and put the score at 9-5 in favor of VCU.
  • The Rams got it rolling again in the top of the fifth, as Matt Davis sent a rocket off the right center field wall for a triple, scoring Daane Berezo and bringing the score to 10-5.
  • Later on in the fifth, with the bases loaded, Haymaker drew a walk to tack on another run, putting the score to 11-5.
  • VCU collected two more runs before the end of the top of the fifth, putting the score to 13-5, as they received RBI's on back-to-back fielder's choices from Acker and Kerrigan at-bats.
  • Kerrigan played contributor again in the top of the seventh, as be beat out an infield single with two out to score Carpenter, putting the Rams lead to 14-5.
  • South Dakota State responded in the bottom of the seventh, with Newt Johnson going yard for his second homer of the day, this time a three-run home run to cut the VCU lead to 14-8.
  • Jamer would shut the door in the ninth, collecting his first save of the season and the Rams third win.

FROM THE BULLPEN 

  • Kerrigan began a heads-up sequence in the bottom of the fifth inning. With one out, he tracked back on a fly ball, made an over the shoulder catch to make the second out of the inning. With the base runner past second base, Kerrigan would spin and fire the ball back into the infield to only have the runner get back to first safely, so it appeared. The runner failed to retouch second base on his way back, thus a toss to the second base bag forced the runner out and ending the inning.
  • The Rams batted around with 11 players coming the to the plate in the fifth inning.
  • Despite the high-powered offense, VCU left 12 men on base during the game.
  • South Dakota State struggled with their defense, collecting five errors during the contest.

WHAT'S NEXT

VCU will return to action tomorrow, Feb. 28 when they return to Brooks Field to close out their weekend and take on hosts University of North Carolina-WIlmington at 2 p.m.