RICHMOND, Va. – The bats went quiet for the second straight night and Virginia Commonwealth University dropped a 7-4 nonconference matchup against Liberty University on Wednesday evening at The Diamond.
VCU falls for the second time in as many days and slips to 13-12 on the year, while Liberty improves to 16-8.
The Rams could only manage six hits as senior M.L. Morgan went 1-for-4 with a pair of RBI to lead VCU. Meanwhile, Liberty pounded out 14 hits with Curran Redal and Tyler Bream contributing three apiece for the Flames.
VCU starter Michael Graham gave up four earned runs on eight hits and dropped to 3-3 on the year. Liberty's Cameron Giannini allowed four runs in seven innings to pick up the win.
Liberty came out swinging in the top of the first inning as the Flames plated two runs on three hits. Redal reached on an infield single to lead off the game before Bream smoked a one-out triple into the right center gap. Bream scored on a groundout by Nathan Thompson and Matt Williamson later added a two-out double.
Giannini retired the first six batters he faced and Liberty added another run to pull ahead 3-0 in the bottom of the second. The Flames went on to take a 4-0 lead in the third when Michael Robertson found the right center gap with a two-out triple and scored after the Rams failed to cover first base on a bunt attempt by P.J. Jimenez.
VCU would get on the board in the third after Matt Leskiw drew a one-out walk and scored on a single up the middle by Morgan.
The Rams added another run in the fourth. Doug Otto drew a leadoff walk to start the frame and Michael Cheatham followed with a one-out single into right field. John Lenherr came through with an RBI groundout to pull VCU within 4-2.
Liberty, which scored runs in four of its first five trips to the plate, built a three-run cushion in the fifth but VCU answered in the bottom of the inning. Leskiw singled to left and later came home on a groundout by Morgan, which cut the Flames' lead to 5-3.
However, Bream gave Liberty a 7-3 advantage in the sixth after he cleared the left field wall with his third home run of the season.
The Rams tried to rally in the eighth as Richard Gonzalez, who walked to lead off the frame, scored following a sacrifice fly by Cheatham. However, VCU could not capitalize and left two runners on base.
VCU welcomes William & Mary to The Diamond for a three-game Colonial Athletic Association series this weekend. The first game is set for Friday at 7 p.m.