RAMS DEFEAT KEYDETS 7-2 ON THURSDAY NIGHT; WILL PLAY VMI AGAIN ON FRIDAY AT THE DIAMOND

LEXINGTON, Va. – The VCU baseball team notched a 7-2 victory over VMI on Thursday night at Gray Minor Stadium.

The Rams improve to 31-22 on the year with the victory, while the Keydets drop to 15-35.

 "It was a good game," said VCU associate head coach Shawn Stiffler. "Their starter was very good and Seth Cutler-Voltz obviously matched him; he pitched six innings and allowed just one run. Matt Lees did a great job out of the bullpen, on short rest, that really allowed us to preserve our bullpen. We got some timely hits out of the middle of our lineup, with Buran, Ayers and Machin each having multiple hits for us."

The Rams pulled ahead 1-0 in the top of the third inning, off a solo home run to left by senior catcher Taylor Perkins (pictured right). It marked the first home run of the year for the Dinwiddie, Va., native.

VCU added to its lead in the top of the sixth inning, with three runs scored in the frame. Sophomore infielder Joey Cujas drew a one-out hit-by-pitch, before redshirt junior outfielder Taylor Buran lined a single through the left side. Cujas and Buran each advanced one base on the play, following a fielding error by the VMI leftfielder. Sophomore designated hitter Chris Ayers delivered a single up the middle, which scored Cujas and Buran. Ayers advanced to third on a single to center by freshman infielder Vimael Machin, before coming around to score on a single into right field by redshirt junior infielder Brent Mikionis.

The Keydets pushed across one run in the bottom of the sixth inning off of Cutler-Voltz.

VMI cut the Black & Gold's lead to two in the bottom of the seventh inning, with another lone run, this time off Lees.

The Black & Gold extended its lead to 6-2 in the top of the eighth, with a pair of runs. Ayers led off the inning with a single up the middle, before taking third on a single through the right side by Machin. Ayers would score on a sacrifice fly by Mikionis, and then Machin would later score on a sacrifice fly by senior outfielder Paul Nice.

The Rams plated another run in the top of the ninth inning, behind a one-out single from junior infielder Jordan Weymouth. The Paradise Valley, Ariz., native advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches, before coming around to score on a double down the right field line by Cujas.

Cutler-Voltz picked up the victory for VCU, throwing six innings and allowing just three hits while fanning four VMI batters. Lees earned his second save of the season, after pitching three innings and allowing just one run.

Ayers and Mikionis led the charge offensively for VCU, with two RBI each.

The two teams will meet again tomorrow back in Richmond, as part of the 2012 Terry Sisisky Classic. VMI will square off with East Carolina at 2 p.m. at The Diamond, before the Keydets and Rams play under the lights at 6 p.m. VCU has defeated VMI three times this season.

"The hardest thing in sports to do is to beat a team four times," added Stiffler. "They have an experienced starter and a deep bullpen available tomorrow. They will play us tough at The Diamond, so we need to play a really good baseball game to beat them."  

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