RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Commonwealth University freshman Bill Cullen (Colonial Heights, Va.) [pictured, right] accounted for two hits and junior Brent Mikionis (Powhatan, Va.) provided a two-run double, but it wasn't enough on Saturday, as Fordham held on for a 6-4 victory at The Diamond.
Freshman Landon Prentiss (Richmond, Va.) led off the eighth inning with a walk for VCU. Cullen followed with a single and senior John Lenherr (Windham, Kan.) doubled two batters later to score Prentiss. Then, Mikionis delivered a long fly ball down the right field line that rattled around in the corner for a triple. Both Lenherr and Cullen scored on the play to pull the Rams within 6-4.
However, Fordham reliever Tim Swatek was able to settle down, and retired the next five VCU batters in order to close the game.
Fordham (1-1) jumped out to a 5-0 lead after three innings. The Rams picked up two runs in the second on back-to-back singles by Joe Russo and Brian Kowanacki, as well as a VCU error, followed a pair of groundouts. A two-run double by Ryan David and an RBI groundout by Russo plated three more runs in the top of the third inning.
Fordham starter Max Krakowiak was masterful for five innings, limiting VCU to an infield single. The Black and Gold finally chased Krakowiak from the game in the sixth, but it was enough for the Fordham right-hander to earn his first win of the season.
Sophomore Ryan Farrar (Mechanicsville, Va.) took the loss for VCU, allowing six hits and five runs, three earned, in three innings.
The VCU bullpen was outstanding on Saturday. Sophomore Blake Hauser (Chesterfield, Va.), freshman Chris Shaklee (Woodbridge, Va.) and senior Jonathan Watson (Richmond, Va.) combined to allow one run and seven hits, while striking out 10, over six innings. The VCU staff did not issue a walk in the game.
VCU and Fordham will play the rubber match of this series on Sunday at 1 p.m. at The Diamond.