FINAL – VCU 6, Elon 2 – (Country Inn and Suites Elon Invitational – Elon, N.C.)
VCU STARTERS: Cullen (CF), Weymouth (2B), Cujas (3B), Ayers (C), Machin (SS), Buran (RF), Thomas (DH), Marino (1B), Acker (LF), Farrar (P)
ELON STARTERS: Bower, Q. (RF), Gomez (3B), Swim (C), Kinsella (1B), Tomko (LF), McVicar (DH), Leathers (2B), Alvarez (SS), Bower, B. (CF), Whitehead (P)
THE BASICS: The VCU Baseball team improved 2-0 on the young season with a 6-2 victory over host Elon on Sunday in the final game of the Country Inn and Suites Elon Invitational. The Rams were sparked by two doubles from senior Jordan Weymouth and a home run off the bat of senior Taylor Buran.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The game remained scoreless until the top of the third inning when VCU's offense went to work. With one out, junior Trevor Marino singled into right field to start a rally. After a fly out and Marino stolen base, junior Bill Cullen was walked to put runners on first and second. With two outs, Weymouth drilled a doubled to the left-center-field gap that scored Marino and Cullen.
- VCU tacked on three more runs in the top fourth inning. Junior Chris Ayers led off the inning getting hit by a pitch and sophomore Vimael Machin followed with a single putting runners on first and second. With a 2-2 count, Buran smoked a ball over the left-center-field wall for a three-run homer and gave the Black and Gold a 5-0 lead.
- Elon (1-2) did not go away quietly. Ryan Kinsella led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a single. With two outs, the Phoenix got back-to-back singles by Tyler McVicar and Will Leathers scoring Kinsella and cutting the Rams' lead to 5-1.
- The Phoenix closed the Rams' lead to three in the bottom of the seventh inning. Leathers led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a ground out. Pinch hitter Casey Jones roped a single back through the box to drive home Leathers, making the score 5-2.
- VCU got the run right back in their half of the eighth inning. Weymouth led off the inning with his second double of the game. After recording two outs Machin came to the plate and drove a double to the wall, scoring Weymouth and giving the Rams a 6-2 lead.
- Senior Ryan Farrar pitched five innings and earned the win for VCU. The Mechanicsville, Va. native scattered four hits and allowed one run, while striking out four. The Rams' bullpen, junior Tyler Buckley and sophomore Matt Lees, combined for four innings, a run and three hits, with four strikeouts.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- VCU improved to 2-0 for the first time since the 2010 season. The Rams advanced to the NCAA Regionals the same year.
- In two appearances, Lees has retired 15 of the 16 batters he's faced. The Richmond, Va. native has thrown five innings, with five strikeouts.
- Buran hit VCU's first home run of the season. It was Buran's sixth home run of his career.
- Weymouth and Machin each recorded two hits on the day for VCU.
"I thought it was a great win and a great weekend for us. Obviously, Elon has a great program and are a fabulous team, and will win a number of games this year. For us to come out the way we did in pretty tough conditions was tremendous."
-Head Coach Shawn Stiffler on the win
"Ryan Farrar was fabulous. Tyler Buckley and Matt Lees, again, were great out of the bullpen. On the weekend, we played 18 innings and did not commit an error. We also pitched 18 innings and only walked three guys. Anytime you do that you have a chance to win a lot of games."
-Stiffler on the Rams' pitching and defense
"I thought we competed pretty hard in all of our at bats this weekend. I don't know if we swung it as well as we can, but we did a great job with two outs and with runners in scoring position of driving in runs and that's what is all about."
-Stiffler on the Rams' offense over the weekend
"I am looking forward to a tough series with Saint Joseph's next weekend. They are a really good team, and they went down to Stetson and played them tough this weekend. They are going to be a great test for us. I am looking forward to getting back to The Diamond and getting back after it."
-Stiffler on the road ahead
VCU returns to The Diamond for its home opener, in a non-conference matchup, versus Saint Joseph's. The first game of the series is Friday, Feb. 22, with first pitch set for 3 p.m.