May 16, 2010

VCU COMPLETES FOURTH CAA SERIES SWEEP WITH 10-6 WIN AT GEORGE MASON

FAIRFAX, Va. – Virginia Commonwealth University completed its fourth Colonial Athletic Association series sweep of the season, including its first ever at George Mason University, following a 10-6 victory against the Patriots Sunday afternoon at Spuhler Field.

VCU, which has won five of its seven conference series this season, improves to 30-20-1, 15-5-1 in CAA play, while George Mason drops its sixth in a row and falls to 27-19, 10-11 in league action.

For the second straight game, VCU sophomore Brent Mikionis led the Rams offensively as he went 3-for-5 with five RBI, including a double and a home run.  Mikionis finished the series 7-for-13 with 10 RBI, a pair of doubles and two homers.

Senior Richard Gonzalez also went 3-for-5 with a RBI and two runs scored, while senior M.L. Morgan, juniors Joe Van Meter and John Lenherr, and freshman Nick Kime collected two hits apiece for VCU.

It only took two batters for the Rams to get on the board as Morgan led off with a single into center and came home on a Gonzalez double.  Mikionis continued where he left off in Saturday's game as he sent a RBI double off the wall in right center and Kime came through with VCU's third extra-base hit of the inning and put the Black & Gold on top, 3-0.

However, George Mason answered with a four-run first of its own to take the lead.  Brig Tison sent the first pitch he saw up the middle before Ryan Soares doubled into left and the Patriots were on the board after two batters as well.  Dan Palumbo drove in a run with a two-out single up the middle and Jeremy Haas hit a two-run shot to left to cap off the inning.

Soares gave George Mason a 5-3 advantage after he led off the third with a home run but VCU rallied with a pair of runs in the fourth to tie the game.  Sophomore Taylor Perkins pulled the Rams within a run following a RBI groundout and junior Michael Cheatham knotted the score with an infield single.

VCU continued to rally as Mikionis drove in two more runs with a single in the fifth before hitting his team-leading ninth homer of the year in the seventh to extend the Rams lead to 9-5.

George Mason had at least two base runners in the fifth, sixth and seventh but VCU turned a pair of double plays and kept the Patriots off the board.   However, Soares promptly ended the scoreless streak after he hit his second home run of the day and pulled George Mason within 9-6 in the bottom of the eighth.

Morgan and Gonzalez singled to start the ninth and Mikionis drew an intentional walk to load the bases with one out.  Junior John Lenherr then collected a RBI on a fielder's choice to give VCU a 10-6 lead.

Senior Robbie Andrews retired the side in order in the ninth to preserve the win.

VCU concludes its non-conference schedule on Tuesday, May 18 when it travels to Liberty University for a 6 p.m. matchup against the Flames.

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