FINAL: VCU 5 (30-10, 11-4), Rhode Island 2 (7-31, 3-12) (Kingston, R.I.) – Bill Beck Field
VCU STARTERS: Acker (RF), Bunn (LF), Cujas (3B), Machin (SS), Ayers (C), Cullen (CF), Farrar (DH), Marino (1B), Crimi (2B), Howie (LHP)
URI STARTERS: Caputo (SS), DeRegis (1B), Corin (3B), Gardella (DH), Hetzel (LF), Sherburne (RF), Livingston (C), Buonopane (CF), Warnock (2B), Distasio (RHP)
THE BASICS: Junior starter JoJo Howie posted his third complete game of the year to lead VCU past Rhode Island 5-2. The win gives the Rams their 11th straight series win dating back to last May. In the win sophomore Cody Acker extended his on-base streak out to 29 games.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Down to their final out in the third inning, VCU sophomore Cody Acker dropped down the third base line for a base hit. Classmate James Bunn put the Black and Gold's second runner aboard with a four-pitch walk. Junior Joey Cujas capitalized in the RBI situation driving in Acker on a single into left field.
- Junior Vimael Machin followed Cujas with a two-RBI double into left driving in two more runs and increasing the Rams lead out to 3-0.
- In the first four innings of work, junior starter JoJo Howie allowed three hitters to reach base. During those frames Rhode Island didn't have more than one runner on base in any inning.
- Rhode Island strung two hits together in the fifth to put runners on at first and second. VCU got out its first jam of the day with a Tim Caputo fly ball to right field.
- URI's Mike Sherburne led off the seventh frame with a triple down the right field line. Rhode Island wasted little time capitalizing with the scoring situation, as the next hitter, Chase Livingston, connected on an infield single plating Sherburne.
- The hosts went on to score another run in the frame as Tim Caputo lined an RBI single into right scoring Livington from second and cutting the VCU lead to 3-2.
- After back-to-back walks to open the top of the eighth, Machin lofted a fly ball to right advancing Bunn to third and putting runners on at the corners. Senior Chris Ayers added the insurance run on a hard RBI single through the right side.
- VCU loaded the bases in the inning, extending the lead out to 5-2 on a senior Trevor Marino hit by pitch.
- The lead proved to hold true as VCU closed out the game getting two more scoreless innings from Howie.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Howie went the distance for the third time this season. The junior allowed two earned runs on seven Rhode Island hits, earning his fifth win (5-2) of the season.
- All three runs VCU scored in the third came with two outs in the frame.
- The Black and Gold collected three hits on the day in two out situations.
- Cody Acker's 1-for-4 day extended the Rams' right fielder's on-base streak to 29 games.
- Two VCU hitters collected multiple hits on the day in James Bunn (2-for-3) and Chris Ayers (2-for-4).
- Machin's two RBI afternoon marked the 10th time the shortstop has collected more than one run batted in.
JoJo (Howie) pitching on short rest today was outstanding, scattered nine hits but besides the seventh inning never seemed to be in much trouble.
VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler
In the third inning we did a great job stringing at bats together with two outs and Vimael (Machin's) double was huge for us to give us some breathing room.
VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler
Tomorrow is going to be tough; they've pitched us really well in the first two games. We're going to have to ready to battle it out if we want to get a win here tomorrow.
- VCU concludes its series tomorrow against Rhode Island, with first pitch set for 12 p.m.