RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Commonwealth University scored six runs during the first two innings and cruised past Norfolk State University 9-1 Wednesday night at The Diamond.
VCU posts its second win in three games, improving to 18-25 on the season, while Norfolk State slips to 17-25.
Freshman Joey Cujas (pictured, right) paced the Rams' offense going 3-for-3 with two RBI and a walk. Senior John Lenherr and juniors Paul Nice, Taylor Perkins and Kyle Sutherland collected two hits apiece.
Sophomore Blake Hauser picked up his second win on the mound, tossing six shutout innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. Norfolk State starter Chase Kyriacou suffered his second loss of the year after allowing six runs on six hits in 1 1/3 innings.
Lenherr reached on a two-out bunt single in the bottom of the first before Cujas put VCU on top 1-0 with a base hit a batter later.
The Rams went on to plate five more runs in the second to stake a 6-0 advantage. Freshman Landon Prentiss drove in a pair with a single into center. Classmate Bill Cullen later scored on a wild pitch and Nice, who singled earlier in the frame, came home on a RBI groundout by senior Michael Cheatham.
Nice doubled off the warning track in left field to leadoff the fourth and Lenherr followed with a single into right to extend VCU's lead to 7-0.
A sacrifice fly by Lenherr and a two-out single from Cujas made it 9-0 in the fifth.
An unearned run in the eighth denied the Rams their first shutout of the season. John Rasberry drew a leadoff walk before a pair of errors put runners on second and third with no out. Chris Joyce followed with a RBI groundout to put Norfolk State on the board.
Both teams stranded runners in scoring position five times apiece throughout the game.
VCU returns to Colonial Athletic Association play this weekend with a three-game series at Towson, beginning Friday, May 6 at 3 p.m. The Rams and Tigers continue Saturday at 1 p.m. and conclude the set Sunday at 1 p.m.