Late RBI’s and strong pitching lift Rams over LaSalle 2-1, clinching series sweep

Final Score: VCU 2, LaSalle 1
Location: Hank DeVincent Field (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Records: VCU 25-12 (9-3), LaSalle 10-26 (2-7) 

The Short Story: The VCU Rams went into Sunday with one goal: to take a weekend sweep from the LaSalle Explorers. Down 1-0 in the top of the ninth inning, it looked like the Rams might fall short of that goal. However, thanks to RBI's from Matt Davis and Walker Haymaker, VCU bested the Explorers, completing their weekend sweep with a 2-1 victory.

LEADING OFF

  • Freshman Michael Dailey kept up the strong pitching performances of the weekend rolling, as he was able to throw 7.0 innings, giving up six hits and one earned run. He didn't walk a single batter and struck out 10 in earning a no-decision.
  • Sam Donko grabbed his 14th save of the season, tying the VCU single-season saves record set by Daniel Concepcion last season (2015).
  • Davis finished the day at a 2-for-4 clip with the RBi, while Haiden Lamb was the only other Ram with a multi-hit day, going 2-for-3.
  • Walker Haymaker supplied the only other VCU RBI, while Darian Carpenter and Zac Ching each chipped in with a hit as well. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Both pitchers came out firing early, as VCU only had one hit through five innings, while LaSalle only had two through that point as well.
  • LaSalle looked as if they may make some noise in the bottom of the sixth inning, but a masterful sliding play up the middle by second baseman Cooper Mickelson saved the Rams from any damage and ending the inning.
  • Just as LaSalle had a chance the previous half inning, the Black and Gold had a chance at putting up some crooked numbers in the top of the seventh inning. Carpenter opened up the frame with a single. Following his at-bat was Davis with a rope through the left side of the infield. With two on and nobody out, the Rams went 1-2-3 after that with a popout and two strikeouts to end their scoring chance.
  • With the momentum off the stopped inning, LaSalle finally broke through for a run in the bottom of the seventh. Connor Hinchliffe led off the inning with a triple, and was driven home on an RBI single from Drew Jarmuz, putting LaSalle 1-0.
  • The Rams had yet another opportunity to square things up in the top of the eighth, as they once again. Mickelson led off the inning with a walk, moved to second as the pitcher threw the ball away on a pickoff attempt, and went to third on a wild pitch.
  • After Zac Ching struck out as Mickelson made his way around the bases, Brett Hileman came in to pinch hit and drew a walk to put runners on the corners with one out. Logan Farrar would hit a grounder that was fielded by the first baseman, stepping on the bag and firing to second to get Hileman on the unconventional 3-to-6 double play.
  • Matt Jamer came in relief of Dailey for the eighth inning, and threw a flawless inning with two strikeouts and a weak line drive that was caught by Cody Acker in foul territory over by first base.
  • Down 1-0, the Rams offense got going just at the right time, as Cody Acker reached base to start the inning via a walk. Just like Mickelson, he advanced as the pitcher threw the ball away on a pickoff attempt. However, Acker was able to get to third right off, setting the table for Davis' single just a few pitches later, tying the game at 1-1.
  • With Davis on base, Jimmy Kerrigan then got hit by a pitch to put a pair on. A sacrifice bunt by James Bunn moved up the runners, setting up Haymaker's groundout for the second out of the inning that scored Davis to put VCU up 2-1.
  • Donko came on for the ninth inning, and got a lineout and two strikeouts to close the door and complete the sweep for the Black and Gold. 

FROM THE BULLPEN

  • Matt Davis turned in his 16th multi-hit game of the season, his first with three hits. He also extended his on-base streak to 12 games, which sits second most on the team this season.

WHAT'S NEXT

VCU will return to action this upcoming Wednesday, April 20 as VCU will have a rematch against Virginia on the road. The Rams won their previous meeting, 7-5, the "Duel at The Diamond" back on April 5. First pitch for Wednesday's engagement is set for 6:00 p.m.