March 26, 2013

VCU Battles No. 1 North Carolina to Extra Innings; Falls 3-2 in 10 innings

FINAL:  No. 1 North Carolina 3, VCU 2 -10 innings  - (Chapel Hill, N.C. – Boshamer Stadium)

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

NORTH CAROLINA STARTERS: Frank (CF), Lassiter (DH), Moran (3B), Bolt (RF), Stubbs (1B), Russell (SS), Holberton (LF), Zolk (2B), Roberts (C), Johnson (P)

THE BASICS: No. 1 North Carolina scored runs in the ninth and 10th innings to defeat VCU 3-2 on Tuesday night at Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C. Junior Joey Cujas had VCU's two-RBIs.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • VCU (12-10) threatened in the top of the fourth inning to score the game's first run. With one out, senior Taylor Buran singled, advancing to second on a stolen base. The next batter, senior Brent Mikionis singled to left field, Buran tried to score on the play, but the Tar Heels ran the relay perfectly to get Buran at the plate.
  • North Carolina (22-1) scored its first run in the bottom of the fourth innings. Brian Holberton led off the inning with a walk, moving to third on a single by Mike Zolk. After an out, Chaz Frank blooped a single just into right field, scoring Holberton, giving the Tar Heels a 1-0 advantage.
  • With two outs in the top of the fifth inning VCU's offense went to work. Junior Bill Cullen and freshman James Bunn reached on back-to-back singles, advancing into scoring position on a wild pitch. The next batter, Cujas roped a single into the right-center-field gap, plating Cullen and Bunn, giving VCU a 2-1 lead.
  • The Tar Heels didn't quit and scored the tying run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Skye Bolt and Cody Stubbs started the rally on back-to-back bunt singles, with Bolt advancing to third on a VCU throwing error. The next batter, Michael Russell sent a fly ball to center field, which was deep enough to score Bolt, tying the score 2-2. VCU got out of the inning, sending the game to extra innings.
  • After UNC held VCU without a run in the top of the 10th inning, the Tar Heels won the game in the bottom half of the inning. With one out Landon Lassister singled to start the North Carolina rally. After an out and an intentional walk, Cody Stubbs drove the ball off of the wall to give North Carolina the walk-off 3-2 win.

 INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • Freshman Michael Carpenter and junior Bryce Lee made their VCU debuts on the mound tonight. Carpenter threw 2.0 innings, with three hits, a run and two strike outs. While Lee allowed a hit and two walks, but got out of his inning unscathed.
  • Junior Logan Kanuik threw 2.1 innings of relief, just allowing two hits for VCU.
  • Sophomore Matt Lees, who was charged with the loss, threw 2.1 innings, allowing just one earned run.
  • Cujas recorded his 13th and 14th RBIs with his two-out RBI single.
  • Freshman Dan Black made his first career start, tossing two innings and allowing only one hit.
  • UNC's Chris McCue threw the final  2.1 innings to earn his fifth win of the season.

QUOTABLE

"It is disappointing result, but I am extremely pleased with the effort. I thought we came out tonight and showed great intent with everything we did. The way we defended the baseball and the way pitched. I am happy the way our young guys, who got the chance to pitch, came out and competed against the best team in the country. I thought we did a great job competing for our at-bats, not necessarily getting the results we wanted, but our approaches were great. I think it gives us some momentum moving forward, as long as we continue to do the things we did tonight."
-Head Coach Shawn Stiffler

WHAT'S AHEAD
VCU continues its Atlantic 10 schedule with a trip to Charlotte this weekend. The Rams and 49ers will play a three-game series starting on Friday, March 29 at 6 p.m.

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