Dwyer, VCU Drop Richmond, 6-3, on Thursday night at The Diamond

FINAL: VCU 6, Richmond 3 (Richmond, Va. – The Diamond at the HDL Inc. Athletic Village)

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

RICHMOND STARTERS: Zink (LF) Stanley (RF), Mayers (DH), Forrer (2B), Beckwith (3B), Williams (1B), Poulos (LF), Gadd (C), Small (SS), de Marte (P)

THE BASICS: VCU jumped to an early 5-0 advantage, and held on late as they defeated cross-town rival Richmond, 6-3, on Thursday night in game one of three-game set at The Diamond.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • VCU (26-26, 10-12 Atlantic 10) scored the game's first two runs in the first inning. Freshman James Bunn walked to start the game, moving to third on a single by classmate Cody Acker. The next batter, junior Joey Cujas grounded out, allowing Bunn to score. Junior Bill Cullen followed with a single back up the middle, scoring Acker, putting the Rams up 2-0.
  • The Rams offense went back to work in the bottom of the second inning. With one-out, junior Trevor Marino laid down a bunt single, but the throw to first got away, allowing him to reach second on an error. The next batter, junior Tom Crimi singled  and the relay to the plate got away, scoring Marino and lifting VCU's lead to 3-0.
  • VCU added a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning. Junior Chris Ayers singled and senior Taylor Buran walked, starting the Rams rally. The next batter senior Jordan Weymouth singled, loading the bases. Marino then was hit by a pitch, brining home Ayers. With the bases loaded, Crimi beat a ground ball for a fielder's choice, allowing Buran to score, giving VCU a 5-0 advantage.
  • Richmond (30-20, 13-9) scored its first run in the top of the sixth inning. Adam Forrer, Tyler Beckwith and Bret Williams all singled, loading the bases. Nick Poulos flew out to center field, allowing Forrer to score on a sacrifice fly. The run cut VCU's lead to 5-1.
  • VCU added another run in the bottom of the seventh inning. With one-out, Ayers doubled down the left field line, and Buran was intentionally walked. The next batter, Weymouth singled giving VCU a 6-1 lead.
  • The Spiders added a two more runs in the top of the ninth inning. Mike Small singed to start the inning, moving to third on a one-out double from Tanner Stanley. Small came around to score on a balk. Jacob Mayers followed with a single, bringing home Stanley and cutting VCU's lead to 6-3. Sophomore Matt Lees came on in relief to earn the save.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • Sophomore starting pitcher Heath Dwyer went 8.1 innings allowing three runs on 12 hits, while striking out two. He picked up his seventh win of the season.
  • Lees earned his 10th save of the season and his 12th of his career. He moves into tie for fifth place on VCU's single-season saves list and a tie for sixth on the VCU career saves list.
  • Richmond starting pitcher Jonathan de Marte went 2.1 innings allowing five runs on seven hits with a strike out. He was charged with his first loss of the season.
  • Acker, Cullen, Weymouth and Ayers each collected two hits for VCU on the night.
  • Eight of VCU's nine batters each collected a hit.
  • The Rams had RBIs from: Cujas, Cullen, Weymouth and Crimi.
  • There was a 90 minute rain delay prior to the first pitch of the game.

QUOTABLE
"It was great to get the first game in an important series against your cross-town rival. All season long, Heath Dwyer has been a workhorse for us and tonight was no exception. We did great job all night of working counts and getting ahead in the count. I thought we took great at-bats and played great defense all night long. We are going to have to come out tomorrow and do the same thing."

- VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler on the win

WHAT'S AHEAD
VCU and Richmond continue their series tomorrow morning, May 17, at 11 a.m. The three-game set concludes Saturday, May 18 with first pitch is set for 10:30 a.m.

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