Rams bats score eight runs in final three innings, march out of VMI with 11-7 win

Final Score: VCU 11, VMI 7
Location: Gray-Minor Stadium (Lexington, Va.)
Records: VCU 10-5 (0-0), VMI 10-8 (0-0)

The Short Story: With their first road game in two weeks, the VCU Rams traveled to Lexington to meet the VMI Keydets in a mid-week matchup. Despite giving up an early grand slam and falling behind, the Rams rallied and scored in five of the final six innings to overtake VMI and grab their seventh win in eight games by a final score of 11-7.

LEADING OFF

  • Jimmy Kerrigan went 2-for-4 on the day, collecting a double, RBI, and three runs scored.
  • Joining Kerrigan in the multi-hit column was freshman Brody Cook, who also went 2-for-4 with a run scored, and James Bunn who went 2-for-5 with an RBI.
  • Matt Davis drove his third home run of the season over the center field fence in the fourth inning.
  • Starting pitcher Benjamin Dum went 4.0 innings, surrendering five earned runs, two hits, three walks, and struck out two. 

HOW IT HAPPENED 

  • Cook led off the top of the third by reaching on an error and getting to second, giving the Rams a base runner. After moving to third on a grounder from Cooper Mickelson, Cook got picked off on a misread from a ball in the dirt to end the threat.
  • VMI loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the third with a walk and two hit batters. Then Peyton Maddox made Dum pay, as Maddox blasted a grand slam over the left field fence on a hanging breaking ball, giving the Keydets a 4-0 lead. The blast was Maddox's seventh of the season.
  • The Rams countered in the top of the fourth inning, as Davis smashed a solo home run over the center field fence to cut the lead to 4-1.
  • After getting a pair of runners on to begin the bottom of the fourth, VMI took advantage of a sacrifice fly from Will Malbon, extending the Keydet lead to 5-1.
  • The Black & Gold came back to load the bases in the top of the fifth, and plated one run on an RBI infield single by James Bunn on a ball Logan Farrar beat to second base.
  • A wild pitch in the top of the sixth by Kyle Staats would score Kerrigan after he reached on a single in the inning and moved to third on a single by Cook. That score would bring the Rams within two runs, 5-3.
  • VCU kept their streak of scoring going in the top of the seventh, as they overtook the Keydets for the first time in the ballgame. Farrar led off the inning with a single before Bunn and Davis each went down. With two outs, Darian Carpenter walked and brought up Kerrigan.
  • Kerrigan launched a double to the gap, scoring Farrar and putting runners second and third still with two out.
  • Cody Acker got in the action, as he laced a single up the middle to center to score both runners and give the Rams their first lead of the ballgame, a 6-5 lead.
  • The Keydets brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh after getting a base runner. But Matt Jamer made a huge pitch to Maddox to strike him out, ending the inning and the threat.
  • The lead didn't last long, as Matt Pita drove a game-tying home run over the left center field fence for his sixth dinger of the season, tying the game 6-6 in the bottom of the eighth.
  • VCU made it happen in the top of the ninth, as James Bunn led the inning off with a single before being replaced by Haiden Lamb. Lamb would proceed to steal second and advance to third as the throw from the catcher sailed into center field.
  • After a walk to Davis, Carpenter sent a ball to left that scraped the stars and was misplayed by the left fielder. The play turned into a double, scoring Lamb from third, and putting VCU back on top 7-6 with runners on second and third.
  • After loading the bases and seeing a 2-3-2 double play, the Rams loaded the bases again after a walk to Cook. With the bases juiced, Mickelson drew a walk to force in a run in Carpenter, moving the score to 8-6.
  • With the bases still loaded, Walker Haymaker delivered the knockout blow with a double to the left field corner, scoring two runs and pushing the lead to 10-6.
  • After a pitching change and runners at second and third, a wild pitch by VMI's new hurler Blaine Lafin scored Mickelson from third to put the cherry on top for the Rams, putting the score to 11-6.

FROM THE BULLPEN

  • Tanner Winters made his season debut for the Black and Gold, also earning his first win of the season out of the bullpen.
  • Cook and Kerrigan each kept their batting average over the .300 mark as the two highest on the squad. Kerrigan leads with a .351 while Cook is not far behind with a .333.
  • Despite 11 runs and 12 hits, the Rams struck out seven times on the night.
  • The win pumps the Rams to double-digit wins on the young season, as they continue to out-perform their 2015 campaign to this point.

WHAT'S NEXT

VCU will return to action tomorrow, Wednesday, March 16 when they return home to The Diamond to face off against Monmouth. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.