April 27, 2014

RAMS DROP PITCHERS' DUEL TO RHODE ISLAND 3-0

 

FINAL: Rhode Island 3 (8-31, 4-12), VCU 0 (30-11, 11-5) (Kingston, R.I.) – Bill Beck Field

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

URI STARTERS: Caputo (SS), O'Connell (C), Corin (LF), Quinn (1B), Gardella (DH), Sherburne (CF), Hetzel (RF), Lynch (3B), Taveras (2B), Moyers (LHP)

THE BASICS: Rhode Island's Steve Moyers proved to be tough for the VCU hitters, as he went the distance in a three hit complete game. URI plated the game's first run in the fifth with a Nick DeRiges RBI groundout to plate TJ Lynch. The hosts added two more insurance runs with RBI from Dan Hetzel and David Hopkins in the eighth to ensure the 3-0 win.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Rhode Island strung together back-to-back hits in the first inning, putting runners on at the corners with one out. URI's Pat Quinn launched a flyout to right field in an attempt to score the game's first run, but sophomore Cody Acker's throw was in time and senior Chris Ayers tagged out Tim Caputo at the plate ending the frame.
  • A lead off double into left field from Nick DeRiges, started off the fifth inning with just the second Rhode Island runner in scoring position. DeRiges came around to score on a TJ Lynch RBI groundout.
  • The hosts threatened to score more in the fifth but a throw home nabbed Martin Taveras at the plate, holding the damage to just one run.
  • After retiring the first two hitters to the plate consecutively in the sixth, Rhode Island put their next two aboard with a hit and hit by pitch. The Black and Gold ended the inning though on an excellent stab and throw from freshman second baseman Matt Davis.
  • Rhode Island paired together to straight hits to kick-start the bottom of the eighth inning and put runners on the corners. An intentional walk loaded the bases for URI and led to the Rams going to the bullpen for junior Matt Lees.
  • A VCU error allowed Rhode Island to add an insurance run in the frame and the hosts extended the lead with a David Hopkins RBI bunt. The two runs gave URI a 3-0 edge heading into the ninth inning.
  • The Rams get back-to-back hits from sophomore James Bunn and senior Joey Cujas to put runners on at first and second. That's as far as the rally went, with the next batter grounding into a 1-6-3 double play.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • With the weekend series win, the Rams improved to 28-6 in their last 11 weekend series, wining the three-game set each time.
  • Junior starter Daniel Concepcion went 6.0 innings, allowing one run on seven hits and striking out four Rhode Island hitters.
  • Over the last four outings the Rams pitching staff has held opponents to 12 runs total, or on average three runs a game.
  • Plays at the plate by VCU ended the first and fifth inning, with Chris Ayers making the final out each time.  Ayers also recorded the first out of the eighth with a play at home.
  • In a year where the Rams have out hit opponents 25 times, VCU was out hit in each of the three games in the weekend series, as well as the past four games.
  • With zero runs, today was first time the Rams have been shutout this season.
  • Sophomore Cody Acker's 29 game on-base streak ended Sunday after the right fielder's 0-for-4 day.

QUOTABLE

Today was a disappointing result, but we're not going to get down about taking a conference series on the road. We can't get negative about that, we played in three close ball games and won two out of three in pretty tough conditions.

VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler

Credit goes to Rhode Island's Steve Moyers, he was unbelievable today, going nine innings and giving up just three hits.

VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler 

Today was a tough offensive day for anyone and we just made the mistake in the first to put us behind and credit to Rhode Island in capitalizing. Then they did a good job hitting some balls where we weren't in the eighth inning moving the runners and pushing two more runs across.

VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler

We played good baseball all week, we threw strikes and defended the baseball well under some pretty tough conditions. We just have to keep winning series and stay on our approach and that's going to be key moving forward.

VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler

WHAT'S NEXT

  • The Rams will continue their road trip Wednesday when they travel to Lexington, Va. to take on instate foe VMI. First pitch against the Keydets is slated for 6 p.m.

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