HARRISONBURG, Va. – The VCU Baseball team saw its season come to a close with a 4-2 setback to Hofstra University in the Virginia 529 Colonial Athletic Association Baseball Tournament on Friday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Park.
The Rams, the fifth seed, were officially eliminated from the tournament with the loss. VCU's record falls to 34-25 on the year.
Despite the setback, VCU associate head coach Shawn Stiffler expressed his gratitude to the members of this year's team, for their hard work and determination both on and off the field every day of the season.
"I am extremely proud and privileged to be a part of this coaching staff and having the opportunity to coach this group of guys," said Stiffler. "I reminded the guys after today's game, that our goal was to try and be the best team we could be at the tail end of the year, and I felt we did that. I can honestly say that every guy on this team gave everything he had for us over the last two months. We came up a bit short today. Give credit to Hofstra, because they played a great game, but you won't find a team in the country that has had to overcome what we have had to go through. I am honored to be the coach of this team."
Hofstra pushed across a pair of runs in the top of the first inning off of VCU senior pitcher Kyle Pelchy. Hofstra's Danny Poma reached on a fielding error to start off the game before taking second on a one-out single by Matt Ford. Poma and Ford would execute a double steal to put runners in scoring position for the Pride. Jared Hammer grounded out to freshman infielder Vimael Machin, which allowed Poma to score and Ford to advance to third. Kenny Jackson then lined a single into left field, plating Ford on the play.
The Pride added another run in the top of the third inning for a 3-0 advantage.
Hofstra tacked on an insurance run in the top of the fifth inning, for a 4-1 advantage, but the Rams cut the deficit to two in the bottom of the sixth inning with a solo home run from redshirt junior infielder Brent Mikionis. It marked the third home run of the tournament, and eighth on the year, for Mikionis (pictured right).
Today's contest marked the final game played in a VCU uniform for nine seniors, including Abrahamson, Pelchy, pitchers Josh Alford, Seth Cutler-Voltz, pitcher Michael Graham and Chris Shaklee; outfielder Paul Nice; and catchers Taylor Perkins and Kyle Sutherland.
"The senior class showed their grace and courage the most over the last month and a half of the season," added Stiffler. "The team really rallied behind them. That group [of seniors], you just had story after story of guys that continued to go out there battle and keep the team going in the right direction. Those nine seniors will be Rams for life and dear friends forever."