Vial K’s 15 in six, pitching staff notches 20 strikeouts as offense ignites for 9-1 thumping of LaSalle

Final Score: VCU 9, LaSalle 1
Location: Hank DeVincent Field (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Records: VCU 24-12 (8-3), LaSalle 10-25 (2-6) 

The Short Story: Swings and misses were abound in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon, as Brooks Vial took to the mound for the VCU Rams against LaSalle. The lefty from Louisiana tossed arguably his best game in Black and Gold, as he struck out 15 Explorers in six innings of work as the pitching staff finished with 20 strikeouts in a 9-1 thumping of LaSalle. 

LEADING OFF

  • Vial led the way, keeping the Explorers in check throughout. His final stat line was 6.0 innings, five hits, one run, three walks, and 15 strikeouts.
  • Matt Davis was superb on offense, collecting a 3-for-6 day with an RBI.
  • Jimmy Kerrigan made the big splash on offense, going 2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and runs scored.
  • Cooper Mickelson was the other Ram with a multi-hit performance, going 2-for 4 with two RBI on the game as well.

HOW IT HAPPENED 

  • Things got going in the top of the first inning, as the Rams were able to get a pair of base runners in Haiden Lamb and Darian Carpenter. That gave Kerrigan a prime opportunity to drive in some runs. He took advantage, driving one off the wall in left field to score Lamb, putting VCU up 1-0. However, Carpenter got cut down at the plate on the relay, ending the inning.
  • The Rams struck for another run in the top of the third inning, as Dylan Isquirdo stepped up with the bases loaded and two out. He took a fastball right in between the numbers, forcing home a run and giving VCU a 2-0 lead.
  • It would be the fourth inning where the Black and Gold would break things open with a four-run inning. It all started with Zac Ching and Lamb reaching base before LaSalle made a pitching change. Logan Farrar would follow that up by reaching on an error.
  • With the bases loaded and no outs, Carpenter dropped a ball right on the right field line in no man's land to move everyone up one, and give the Rams a 3-0 lead.
  • Following Carpenter was Davis, who roped a single into center field for another run, 4-0, and kept the bases loaded with nobody out.
  • After a strikeout, Cody Acker sent a sacrifice fly into left center field for an RBI, scoring Farrar and putting the Rams up 5-0.
  • Closing out the scoring in the fourth inning was an infield single by Mickelson, as he safely dove head first into first base for the hit, scoring Carpenter putting the Black and Gold up 6-0.
  • LaSalle got a run back in the bottom of the fourth, as Drew Jarmuz launched a triple to right center to score Connor Hinchliffe to bring things to 6-1.
  • However, the Rams added another two runs in the top of the sixth, thanks to RBI singles from Isquirdo and Mickelson to push the score to 8-1.
  • The offense would be highlighted by the Rams final run that came in the top of the seventh, as Kerrigan sent a long fly ball over the left field fence for a home run, putting the finishing touches on the 9-1 final. 

FROM THE BULLPEN 

  • Vial's 15 strikeouts tied the record for most in a game since 2004. The last 15-strikeout game was by Heath Dwyer on March 15, 2004 against Buffalo.
  • Matt Davis turned in his 15th multi-hit game of the season, his first with three hits. He also extended his on-base streak to 11 games, which sits second most on the team this season.
  • Not to be outdone, Jimmy Kerrigan turned in his team-leading 16th multi-hit performance

WHAT'S NEXT

VCU will return to action tomorrow, April 17, for game three of the three-game series against the LaSalle Explorers. First pitch for Sunday's matinee is scheduled for 12 p.m.