RAMS CLOSE OUT ODU SERIES WITH 3-0 VICTORY BEHIND ONE-HITTER FROM PITCHING STAFF
NORFOLK, Va. – The VCU Baseball team notched a 3-0 victory over Old Dominion on Sunday afternoon, to take the series victory over the host Monarchs.
The Rams benefited from a stalwart pitching performance from VCU starter Kyle Haynes, who pitched seven complete innings, fanned six ODU batters and allowed just one hit. Senior pitcher Kyle Pelchy retired the side in the eighth, before junior Blake Hauser earned his eighth save of the season with a scoreless ninth.
The Rams improve 24-20, including 11-13 in the CAA, while Old Dominion drops to 16-27 and 6-15 in the CAA.
"It was a great job by the guys this weekend to come back and get the series," said VCU associate head coach Shawn Stiffler. "After going down on Friday and coming back and winning two straight, it was a credit to the guys staying within our approach and kept fighting. Haynes was outstanding today, giving up one hit in the first inning, then we kept them hitless as a team for the next eight innings. Pelchy came in and did a great job, then Hauser was dynamic in the ninth."
After four and a half innings of play, the game remained scoreless, with the Monarchs looking to manufacture a run following a leadoff walk by Haynes to Joey Burney. ODU's Kenneth Belgrave fouled off his first attempt, before trying to lay down a bunt, but he couldn't catch his bat on Haynes' fastball for strike two. Belgrave would later fly out to right field for the first out. The Monarchs tried a hit-and-run on the first pitch to Brandon Shelton, but the Rams executed a pitchout perfectly to nail Burney at second. Haynes forced Shelton into an infield groundout, to get out of the inning.
In the top of the sixth junior infielder Jordan Weymouth roped a one-out double down the left field line, his second of the day, to get things started for the Rams. After sophomore infielder Joey Cujas flew out to center, redshirt junior Brent Mikionis delivered a single through the right side to score Weymouth from second. Mikionis was thrown out at second trying to advance on the throw to the plate, but was putout on the attempt.
VCU added to its lead in the top of the eighth inning, with a two-run home run over the right field wall by sophomore outfielder Bill Cullen. The home run came in Cullen's last plate appearance of the day, to extend his hitting streak to 19-straight games.
The Rams will travel to Lexington, Va. this Tuesday for a non-conference matchup with VMI. The Rams defeated the Keydets 18-1 at The Diamond on April 10th.
"It's at their park this time, which is a different park then we play in," added Stiffler. "They will play us tough, it's an in-state rivalry game for us and they have a lot of Richmond kids on their team. It will be a very good game and it will get us prepared for the weekend series with Georgia State."