March 8, 2013

Rams Nine-Game Winning Streak Comes to an End With 9-3 Loss to UNCW

FINAL: UNCW 9, VCU 3 (Wilmington, N.C. – Brooks Field)

VCU STARTERS: Cullen (CF), Bunn (LF), Cujas (3B), Ayers (C), Machin (SS), Buran (RF), Weymouth (2B), Prentiss (DH) , Marino (1B), Dwyer (P)

UNCW STARTERS: Bass (2B), Abshire (CF), Ridge (DH), Dunlap (2B), Dick (1B), Farber (C), Molinaro (RF), LeGrange (1B), Connelly (SS), Batts (P)

THE BASICS: VCU dropped its first game of the 2013 season with a 9-3 setback to UNCW on Friday afternoon. The Rams had RBI's from Junior Landon Prentiss and senior Brent Mikionis.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • UNCW (7-6) opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning. Michael Bass started the game with a triple to the center field wall and came around on a RBI groundout by Josh Abshire.
  • VCU (9-1) answered with a run in the top of the second inning. With two, outs senior Taylor Buran picked up a single and advanced to second on a single from classmate Jordan Weymouth. Prentiss came through with a two-out RBI single to tie the game at 1-1.
  • The Seahawks plated three runs in the bottom of the third innings. Ryan LaGrange started the inning with a leadoff homer to left field. Following two walks to Terrance Connelly and Bass, Abshire would lay down a sacrifice bunt moving the runners to second and third. Hunter Ridge reached on an error that scored both runs, making the score 3-1 Seahawks.
  • UNCW added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning when Tyler Molinaro homered to right-center field. The blast gave the Seahawks a 5-1 advantage.
  • In the bottom of the eighth, the Seahawks capped of their scoring with three more runs. UNCW loaded the bases with one out, and LeGrange singled for two more RBI's. The Seahawks added the third run of the inning on a sacrifice fly from Bass giving them an 8-1 lead.
  • VCU cut into the lead in the top of the ninth inning. Prentiss walked to start the inning and Mikionis, who was pinch hitting, belted a 1-2 pitch over the left field wall, making the score 9-3, in favor of UNCW.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • With the loss, VCU ends a nine-game winning streak, which was the longest since the 2004 season.
  • Sophomore Heath Dwyer recorded a career-high eight strikeouts in his seven innings of work.
  • Weymouth finished the game with three-hits for VCU, while freshman James Bunn and junior Joey Cujas finished with two hits apiece.
  • UNCW's Mat Batts threw eight innings allowing just one run to earn the win.
  • Buran top of the second inning extended his hit streak to six games.
  • Nine of VCU's hits came with two-outs in the inning.
  • VCU did out hit the Seahawks 11-8 on the day.

QUOTABLE
"I thought it was a better game than what the line score shows. Heath Dwyer did a very solid job for us for seven innings, but we had some miscues that cost us tonight. Give UNCW credit because they took advantage of our mistakes."
- Head Coach Shawn Stiffler  

"I think we need to do a better job of getting ready for at bats earlier in the inning. Through the first eight innings we didn't get a hit until there was two outs in the inning. We have to do a better job of fighting for our at bats earlier in the inning."
- Stiffler on the Rams' offense

"It will be a good test for us tomorrow because we will see how we responded after our first loss. It will be the first time this year we will have to get up after a loss and I am excited to see how we respond."
 -Stiffler on the rest of the weekend

WHAT'S AHEAD
The Rams and Seahawks continue their three-game series tomorrow, Saturday, March 9. First pitch is set for 2 p.m at Brooks Field in Wilmington, N.C.

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