CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia Commonwealth University rallied to take a 4-3 lead in the top of the second inning but University of Virginia pitchers retired 16 straight batters and the top-ranked Cavilers defeated the Rams, 10-5, Tuesday evening at Davenport Field.
VCU, which faced its second No. 1 ranked team in program history, falls to 24-20-1 overall, while Virginia wins its 11th straight and improves to 40-9 on the season.
Phil Gosselin hit a leadoff home run to left and put Virginia on the board early in the bottom of the first. VCU starter Michael Graham settled down and retired the next two batters but the Cavaliers followed with a single, a triple and a double, and jumped out to an early 3-0 advantage.
VCU answered in the top of the second and scored four runs with two outs to take a 4-3 lead. Sophomore Brent Mikionis started the Rams rally with a home run over the left field wall. Sophomore Paul Nice singled to right and senior Nate Furry drew a four-pitch walk and both runners moved into scoring position after Virginia starter Brenden Kline balked. Morgan drove in a pair of runs with a shot up the middle and Leskiw gave VCU the lead with an RBI-single into left.
Graham fanned three and sat down the next five Virginia batters before the Cavaliers rallied with two outs in the third and regained the lead. Gonzalez made a play deep in the hole behind second base but couldn't retire Steven Proscia, who reached with an infield single. Jarrett Parker then hit a line shot over the right field fence and put Virginia back in front, 5-4.
The Cavaliers, who chased Graham after he allowed the first two batters to reach in the fourth, scored four more runs in the fourth and extended their lead to 9-4. Stephen Bruno drove in a pair with a double down the left field line, while Dan Grovatt and Proscia each collected a RBI.
Morgan's home run in the eighth pulled the Rams within 9-5 but Virginia got the run back in the bottom of the frame.
VCU returns to action on Wednesday, May 5 with a
4 p.m. matchup at Norfolk State. The Rams then host Virginia
State University with a double header on Sunday, May 9 beginning at
1 p.m. at The Diamond.