RICHMOND, Va. – The VCU baseball team closed out the regular season with an 11-2 victory over East Carolina on Saturday afternoon, in the final contest of the 2012 Terry Sisisky Classic.
Today's game marked the final home contest at The Diamond for nine VCU seniors, who celebrated senior day with a small ceremony before the game's first pitch.
The Rams overall record now stands at 32-23 with the victory, while the Pirates fall to 34-20-1 on the season.
"I am really ecstatic for our seniors to finish out the regular season this way," said VCU associate head coach Shawn Stiffler. "East Carolina is the model for what teams aspire to be, we have a ton of respect for them and they are going to make a lot of noise come NCAA Tournament time. They are a fabulous team and for us to win the season series against them is a big statement for us. I am really happy with the way we played today, getting contributions up and down the lineup; it made for a great senior day."
The Rams jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the top of the first inning, created off just a pair of hits. VCU sophomore outfielder Bill Cullen led off with a walk, before junior infielder Jordan Weymouth reached on a bunt single. After sophomore infielder Joey Cujas drew a pitch in the back to load the bases, senior designated hitter Taylor Perkins (pictured right) reached on a throwing error by the ECU shortstop, which allowed Cullen to score. Freshman infielder Vimael Machin delivered a sacrifice fly to right field, which plated Weymouth at third base. Redshirt junior infielder Brent Mikionis took a pitch in his side to reload the bases, before seniors Kyle Sutherland and Paul Nice drew back-to-back walks to bring in a pair of runs. Cullen roped a single up the middle, which scored Sutherland and Mikionis, to hand VCU a 6-0 lead.
VCU added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, coming off a two-run home run by redshirt junior outfielder Taylor Buran.
East Carolina scored its first run of the contest in the top of the sixth inning, pushing across a run off freshman pitcher Matt Lees.
The Rams responded with a run in the bottom of the sixth, to extend their lead to 9-1. Weymouth led off the inning with a single through the right side, before taking second a sacrifice bunt by Cujas. Weymouth advanced to third on an infield groundout, then later scored on a wild pitch.
The Pirates scored their second and final run of the contest in the top of the seventh inning, before the Black & Gold posted a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Lees picked up the victory for the Rams, pitching two innings and allowing four hits. He improves to 4-2 on the year with the victory. Seniors Chris Shaklee (pictured right) and Michael Graham each pitched one inning of scoreless relief in the contest.
VCU will travel to Harrisonburg, Va., this week for the 2012 CAA Baseball Tournament, held at James Madison University. The Rams, who earned the No. 5 seed in the tournament, will square off against No. 4 seed George Mason University on Wednesday.