RICHMOND, Va. – The legendary "Voice of the Rams", Terry Sisisky, was known for his over-the-top energy and enthusiasm, which he brought to all aspects of life.
That's why it was fitting for the Virginia Commonwealth University baseball team to use those exact traits in a 10-2 shellacking of the Crusaders of Holy Cross to open up the first-ever Terry Sisisky Classic at The Diamond on Friday afternoon.
"It was good to see us get some things going offensively," Head Coach Paul Keyes said. "We still have a long way to go in order to get where we want to be, but it's always good to see us take steps in the right direction to getting to that point."
Seven different Rams tallied multi-hit performances, while junior Seth Cutler-Voltz scattered 10 hits over six innings of work, while allowing just one run to earn the victory for the Black & Gold.
"Our pitching has been our strong point all season and today was no different," Keyes said. "While our offense took a little while to get going today, Seth continued to manage the game and kept giving us the chance to take the lead, which is all you can ask for out of your starter."
It was a pitcher's duel for the first four innings as Cutler-Voltz matched zeroes with Holy Cross starter Chris Kono.
The Rams' offense would wake up in the fifth as junior Paul Nice ripped a single into left field and stole second to put a man in scoring position with one out. After Kono induced a pop out, senior Michael Cheatham stepped up and blasted a double into deep right center to score Nice and give VCU a 1-0 cushion.
Holy Cross would respond right away with Stephen Wadsworth delivering a two-out, RBI single in the top of the sixth to even the score at 1-1.
It would take long for the Black & Gold to respond with senior John Lenherr drawing a lead-off walk in the home half of the sixth and moving over to third on a double by junior Taylor Buran, which chased Kono from the game.
Junior Taylor Perkins lofted a sacrifice fly to right to score Lenherr and classmate Brent Mikionis scorched an RBI single into center to plate Buran and extend VCU's lead to 3-1. After two wild pitches moved Mikionis around to third, sophomore Nick Kime smashed his own RBI single into center to push the lead to 4-1 after six frames.
While junior Chris Shacklee took over on the mound for the Rams, VCU's offense would continue to surge in the seventh with Lenherr collecting an RBI triple, followed by RBI singles from Mikionis and Buran.
Three more Black & Gold runs in the eighth would seal the deal and give VCU its largest offensive output of the season at 10-3.
Lenherr finished with two hits, three runs scored and two RBIs, while both Kime and Buran each notched three hits on the afternoon. The Rams finished with 17 hits on the day, the most since May 16th of last year in a 10-5 win over George Mason.
Cutler-Voltz tossed six innings, allowing 10 hits, just one run and striking out two to move to 1-1 on the year, while Shacklee picked up the save, throwing the last three innings of the contest.
The Rams and Holy Cross meet again on Saturday in the second day of the Terry Sisisky Classic at 4 p.m. Prior to that game, Princeton and Holy Cross will meet at 12 p.m.