NORFOLK, Va. – Virginia Commonwealth University hit a season-high four triples and defeated non conference foe Norfolk State University, 10-7, Wednesday evening at Marty L. Miller Field.
VCU, which snaps a three-game losing skid, improves to 25-20-1, while Norfolk State falls to 16-23-1.
All nine Rams starters collected a hit with senior Richard Gonzalez finishing 3-for-5, including a run and RBI. Senior Doug Otto and juniors Joe Van Meter, John Lenherr and Greg Fujii each contributed a pair of hits.
VCU left a runner in scoring position in each of its first four trips to the plate and nearly broke the scoreless tie in the top of the fourth. Gonzalez sent a single into left center but senior M.L. Morgan was called out trying to reach third base just before Fujii touched home plate.
The Rams finally scratched across a run in the fifth after Norfolk State committed a pair of errors and VCU loaded the bases with no outs. Sophomore Paul Nice put the Black & Gold on the board with an infield single and junior Michael Cheatham followed with a RBI groundout. Fujii then drove in two with a triple into center and completed the four-run frame.
The Spartans returned the favor and tied the score at 4-4 in the bottom of the fifth. The first three batters reached with no outs and James Taylor cut the VCU lead in half with a single. John Rasberry scored on a wild pitch and Chris Warren tied the game with a sacrifice fly.
VCU quickly regained the lead in the sixth after Otto and Lenherr each tripled and scored. But Cameron Parsons drew a leadoff walk to start the bottom half of the frame and later came home on a groundout to pull Norfolk State within 6-5.
Senior Matt Leskiw, Gonzalez and Van Meter each collected an RBI and VCU took a 9-5 advantage after three more Spartans miscues in the top of the seventh.
Chris Joyce doubled and scored to pull Norfolk State within three in the bottom of the frame before both teams traded runs in the ninth.
VCU returns to action with a doubleheader against Virginia State University on Sunday, May 9 beginning at 1 p.m. at The Diamond. The Rams continue CAA play with a three-game series at George Mason May 14-16.