Final Score: VCU 5, Longwood 4 (13 innings)
Location: The Diamond (Richmond, Va.)
Records: VCU 11-10, Longwood 8-13
The Short Story: It would be a combination and perfect storm of events for the VCU Rams on Tuesday night. With a premium performance out of the bullpen by Pre-Season All-American Sam Donko, pitching over six innings in relief, it all led up to freshman Steven Carpenter to grab the game-winning, pinch hit walk-off hit in the Black & Gold's 5-4 victory over the Longwood Lancers.
- Alex Gransback paced the offense with a four-hit performance, going 4-for-7 with two runs scored.
- Donko flourished out of the bullpen, throwing 6.1 innings out of the bullpen, giving up three hits, one run, a walk, and struck out seven.
- Paul Witt chipped in with a pair of hits and RBI's in a 2-for-3 effort with a walk and hit by pitch.
- Logan Farrar and Zac Ching each had a pair of hits. Both players also scored a run.
- Haiden Lamb extended his reached base streak to 12 games, although saw his eight-game hitting streak end.
- VCU left 14 men on base throughout the contest.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Rams opened with a run in the bottom of the first inning, as they were able to get a pair of runners on first and third. As Gransback broke to try and steal second, he was thrown out for the second out of the inning. However, Berezo scored on the play to put VCU up 1-0.
- Longwood would strike for three runs in the top of the third inning, with two RBI singles as the catalyst for the scoring. The Lancers would take a 3-1 lead from that point.
- VCU would chip into the lead in the bottom of the fourth, as both Gransback and Witt would reach base. As they got to second and third, a wild pitch would score Gransback to bring the Rams within one, 3-2.
- Witt would get in the action in the fifth, as the Black & Gold would tie the game at 3-3 on his sacrifice fly, scoring Ching.
- The Rams would load the bases in the bottom of the seventh with a chance to take the lead. But a strike out would end the inning, keeping things knotted 3-3.
- Things got interesting in the eighth inning and ninth innings as well. VCU would get base runners, but couldn't cash in. The game would get to extra innings, tied 3-3.
- In the top of the 11th inning, Longwood took a 4-3 lead as Sammy Miller got ahold of a Sam Donko fastball and put it into center field for a base hit. The play would score Ryan Shull, putting the Lancers up 4-3.
- However, the Rams would not surrender, as Farrar and Gransback worked back-to-back hits to put runners on first and third with one out.
- Witt would be the beneficiary of the successful offense ahead of him, as he sent a long fly ball to center for a sacrifice fly to score Farrar. That would tie the game back up, 4-4.
- It wouldn't be until the 13th inning when VCU would grab the win, generating everything with two outs. After Farrar got caught stealing second, Gransback would tag his fourth hit of the day.
- After Paul Witt got hit by a pitch to put Gransback on second, Carpenter would come in to pinch-hit. He would drive an outside fastball over the right fielder's head, scoring Gransback and clinching the win for the Rams.
VCU will return to action this Friday, March 24 when they begin a three-game series with the La Salle Explorers. The game will also open Atlantic 10 play for the Rams. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.