FINAL: UMass 5 (13-29, 10-14), VCU 4 (33-15, 14-8) (Amherst, Mass.) – Earl Lorden Field
VCU STARTERS: Bunn (LF), Cujas (3B), Machin (SS), Ayers (C), Cullen (CF), D. Carpenter (DH), Prentiss (RF), Davis (2B), Marino (1B); Concepcion (RHP)
UMASS STARTERS: Adie (CF), Sanford (2B), Campero (3B), Begin (1B), Picard (RF), Geannelis (DH), Jennings (C), Morris (LF), Scifo (SS); Grant (RHP)
THE BASICS: VCU rallied from a 4-1 deficit to even the score at 4-4 in the eighth frame, but UMass scored a run in the bottom of the eighth to take the game 5-4 and win the series. With the loss, the Rams dropped their first series since last May, after winning 12 straight.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Nik Campero lit the scoreboard first, with an RBI double down the right field line in the first frame.
- In the top of the third inning VCU saw its first two hitters in sophomore James Bunn and senior Joey Cujas reach base, getting hit by pitch and singling respectively. The next batter, junior Vimael Machin launched a deep fly ball pushing Bunn to third. Senior Chris Ayers followed with a sacrifice fly bringing Bunn home and evening up the score at 1-1.
- The tie was short lived, as the Minutemen put runners on the corners and Adam Picard cashed in with a two-RBI double into the right-center gap. Mike Geannelis plated Picard with a single to right pushing the UMass lead out to 4-1.
- VCU loaded the bases in the top of the fifth without recording a base hit. Senior Bill Cullen rocketed a deep sacrifice fly into center bringing Bunn across home plate. That's all the damage that took place, as the Minutemen starter Aaron Plunkett struck out the final hitter of the frame to get out of the jam.
- A Cullen RBI double down the right field line in the seventh closed the Rams within one run, 4-3.
- The Rams pieced together three hits in the eighth, with the final hit brining home the game-tying run. Cujas singled to short, with the shortstop Vinny Scifo making a good stab and throw just behind the VCU third baseman.
- UMass answered right back in the second half of the frame with a John Jennings RBI single into center field giving the hosts a 5-4 lead.
- Freshman Logan Farrar singled down the right field line and later stole second to put the tying run in scoring position, but the Rams were unable to capitalize, with UMass closing out the contest 5-4.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- With the loss, VCU dropped its first series since last May at George Washington, ending a span of 13-striaght series wins.
- Junior Daniel Concepcion went seven strong innings on the hill for the Rams, allowing one earned run on six Minutemen hits, while striking out three.
- All three runs scored by the Minutemen in the bottom of the third inning were unearned.
- Bunn led off and reached in the third and fifth innings without recording a hit. In the frames the sophomore got to first with a hit by pitch and a walk.
- Senior Joey Cujas picked up hits in his first four at-bats finishing 4-4 on the afternoon, with an RBI.
- The Rams left 13 runners on base with 11 stranded in scoring position.
Today's game was all about UMass taking advantage of their opportunities. They scored all their runs in innings where either we gave up walks or committed errors.
VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler
At the end of the day we just didn't do the little things right and that really hurt our chances to win the series today.
VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler
- The Rams will travel to Charlottesville, Va. on Tuesday for a midweek contest against No. 1 Virginia. First pitch in that contest is set for 6 p.m.