Final Score: VCU 6, St. Bonaventure 5
Location: The Diamond (Richmond, Va.)
Records: VCU 14-7 (1-0), St. Bonaventure 9-6-1 (0-1)
The Short Story: Atlantic 10 Conference play got underway at The Diamond on Friday evening, as the VCU Rams squared off against the Bonnies of St. Bonaventure.
- Jimmy Kerrigan paced the way for the Rams by going 3-for-4 with two singles and his second home run of the season, a solo shot. He also scored two runs and had an RBI.
- Contributing with three big RBI was Nick Rabat, who pinch hit in the bottom of the seventh and notched a double to give the Black and Gold the lead for good.
- Both Matt Davis and Brett Hileman each recorded a hit, RBI, and run scored apiece, with Davis scoring on Hileman's RBI single, while Hileman scored on Rabat's double.
- Reliever Matt Jamer became pitcher of record and notched his third win of the season, going 2.1 innings giving up only one hit, walking two, and striking out three.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Both teams played through a clean first inning, until the Rams broke the ice in the bottom of the second. Kerrigan led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a walk to Davis. He would cross the plate when a throw by the shortstop went wild trying to get Darian Carpenter on the back end of a double play attempt.
- The Bonnies would respond in the top of the third, as a sacrifice fly from Aaron Phillips to right field would bring things to a tie at 1-1.
- St. Bonaventure took the lead in the top of the fourth inning, with a runner on third, Taishi Terashima hit a ground ball up the middle with one out. Cooper Mickelson got to the ball but was unable to throw out Terashima at first, scoring the runner from third. That gave the Bonnies a 2-1 lead.
- Kerrigan would be the guy for a spark once again, as he smashed a solo home run over the left field wall in the bottom of the fourth to bring the score back tied at 2-2.
- The lead would switch back in favor of the Bonnies in the top of the fifth, as Ted Diltz lifted a sacrifice fly to left to score Tyler Walter, who started the inning with a double, from third to give St. Bonaventure a 3-2 lead.
- Tommy LaCongo delivered a big hit for St. Bonaventure to add to their strong top of the fifth, as he knocked a double to the wall in left center to score two more runs for the Bonnies, giving them a 5-2 lead and knocking Sean Thompson out of the ballgame.
- Things stayed at par until the bottom of the seventh, as the Rams got things going early with a single by Davis, and back-to-back hit by pitches to Carpenter and Brody Cook. Hileman then came in to pinch hit and knocked a single on the first pitch he saw to score one and bring the score to 5-3.
- Still with nobody out and the bases loaded, the Rams turned to their bench once again and brought Rabat to the plate. Rabat smoked a line drive to the wall in right center, scoring all three runs and giving the Rams a 6-5 lead. Rabat tried to stretch a double into a triple but was thrown out on the play.
- Things got interesting in the top of the ninth as the Rams tried to close. However, the Bonnies loaded the bases with nobody out. Dave Vaccaro hit a ground ball to shortstop. Davis flipped to Daane Berezo for the out, and Berezo fired to first for the double play. However, interference was called at second base on the slide, bringing the runners back to second and third and nixing the run from being scored to tie the game and putting two outs on the board.
- Sam Donko would end the fury of fireworks with a strikeout to Jared Baldinelli, and snatching the Rams first conference win by a score of 6-5
FROM THE BULLPEN
- The game was filed under protest by St. Bonaventure due to the play at second in the ninth inning.
- Sam Donko continues to rack up the saves, grabbing his conference-best ninth save of the season.
- Jimmy Kerrigan slides himself into the top 10 in batting average in the conference at his .392 clip (minimum 50 at-bats)
VCU will return to action tomorrow, March 26, when they take on St. Bonaventure in game two of the three-game series at The Diamond. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.