RAMS WIN FIFTH STRIAGHT TO EQUAL PROGRAM'S BEST START

FINAL: VCU 8 (17-3), ECU 4 (10-11)  (Greenville, N.C.) – Clark-LeClair Stadium

VCU STARTERS: Acker (RF), Marino (1B), Cujas (3B), Machin (SS), Ayers (C), Cullen (CF), Farrar (DH), Davis (2B), Prentiss (LF), Concepcion (RHP)

ECU STARTERS: Fultz (CF), Reynolds (1B), Houchins (3B), Townsend (RF), Harman (LF), LaMura (DH), Tyler (C), Yorgan (2B), Allen (SS), Bolton (RHP)

THE BASICS: Trailing 2-0 in the fourth inning, a Bill Cullen three-run homerun supercharged the Rams offense on their way to a fifth straight win. VCU tacked on three more runs in the fifth en route to a 8-4 victory and a season sweep of the Pirates. Junior Daniel Concepcion picked up the win going six innings and struck out seven to earn his third win of the year.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • ECU lit the scoreboard in the bottom of the first on a solo home run to right field from Drew Reynolds to take the first lead of the day.
  • The Pirates added to their lead the following inning, with one out in the bottom of the second frame Charlie Yorgen ripped a double down the first base line to put a runner in  scoring psotion. The second baseman later advanced to third on a Hunter Allen sacrifice bunt. A Ben Fultz RBI single plated Yorgen, doubling Pirates lead 2-0.
  • In the fourth, VCU led off its half of the inning with senior Joey Cujas and junior Vimael Machin reaching on an error and walk respectively. With the two infielders standing on second and third senior Bill Cullen rocketed a pitch over the right field wall for his second home run of the year. The tree-run shot gave the Rams their first lead.
  • The Rams continued scoring in the fifth, freshman Matt Davis led things off with a single and senior Landon Prentiss doubled down the right field line to put two runners in scoring position with no outs.
  • Davis later came around to score on a passed ball and Prentiss scored on a Pirates error making the score 5-2. VCU tacked on another run when a Machin groundout plated sophomore Cody Acker, increasing the Rams lead to four runs.
  • ECU clawed its way back in the sixth with an RBI from both Dylan Brown and Charlie Yorgan to close the gap to two, 6-4.
  • With a runner on second in the bottom of the eighth Luke Lowery came on to pinch hit for the Pirates. The sophomore roped a single into left that was sure to score a run, but Machin had another idea as his relay throw gunned out Bryce Harman at the plate and senior Nick Octavi held on to end the inning.
  • In the ninth a two-out two-RBI Cody Acker double down the right left line doubled up the Rams lead on the Pirates, 8-4.
  • Junior Matt Lees capped off his scoreless three innings of work in the ninth to send VCU out on top 8-4 to earn its 17th win of the season.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • With the win on Wednesday night the Rams improved to 17-3 equaling the best start in school history by the 1989 edition of the Black and Gold.
  • Starter Dainel Concepcion went 6.0 innings allowing four earned runs, while striking out seven to pickup his third win of the year (3-1).
  • Matt Davis went 3-for-4 on the day marking his fourth multiple hit day and extended his hitting streak to four games.
  • Both Bill Cullen and Cody Acker posted three RBIs on the day. Cullen now has recorded multiple RBIs in a team-high eight contests this season.
  • With his three-inning save, Lees now holds sole possession of fourth place on the all-time saves list at VCU.

QUOTABLE

It's a good win on the road for us against a quality team. Being our first midweek game on the road when school's in session, it's something we need to get used to. I think we came out a little flat and slow but we eventually got it going and it made a big difference.

VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler

Their pitcher, Tyler Bolton, did a really good job through the first third of the game but we really started to get to him in the fourth inning, where Bill Cullen gave us that big home run that got us energized and helped us put together runs in the fifth and the ninth.  

VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler

I'm really excited with the fact that we were able to score runs in the ninth; extending leads and scoring late in games are a sign of a really good baseball team and we did that today.

VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler

WHAT'S NEXT

  • VCU returns home to The Diamond to open Atlantic 10 play with the Bonnies of St. Bonaventure; the first game in that series is set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday.
 
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