Final Score: VCU 9, Dayton 4 (Game 1)
VCU 10, Dayton 1 (Game 2)
Location: The Diamond (Richmond, Va.)
Records: VCU 21-10 (6-2 A-10), Dayton 7-18 (1-4 A-10)
The Short Story: A combined 19 runs in two games backed with strong starting pitching performances gave the VCU Rams a strong bounce back day in Atlantic 10 play. The Black & Gold would defeat the Dayton Flyers by final scores of 9-4 and 10-1 to sweep the day's doubleheader at The Diamond.
- In Game 1, the top four hitters in the VCU lineup (Haiden Lamb, Daane Berezo, Mitchel Lacey, and Paul Witt) combined for nine of VCU's 14 hits on the ballgame. Both Lamb and Lacey finished with three on the game and four between the two contests.
- VCU collected seven extra base hits on the day, smacking six doubles and Berezo adding a triple in Game 1. Hogan Brown would be responsible for two of the six doubles on the day.
- Junior Mac McCarty collected his 13th save of the season in Game 1, keeping him atop the NCAA in that category.
- Witt extended his on-base streak to 23 straight games, while Berezo collected his team-high 11th multi-hit game.
- With one more victory, Head Coach Shawn Stiffler will win his 200th game at the helm of the Rams. He will join Tony Guzzo and Paul Keys as the only ones to eclipse the mark at VCU.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- VCU did a majority of their damage in the seventh and eighth innings, scoring a combined six runs. Sparked by a huge RBI triple from Berezo in the seventh, Lacey and Witt would follow suit with RBI singles to put the Rams up 6-1 headed into the eighth inning.
- However, Dayton responded with a three-run top of the eighth to pull back within two runs, as a pair of singles and and a wild pitch brought the score within striking distance at 6-4.
- The Rams would bring the lead back up to five runs after they responded with three runs in the bottom of the eighth. Back-to-back singles from Simon and Lamb scored a pair, followed by a sacrifice fly from Lacey put the icing on the cake. That would extend the lead to 9-4.
- Simon's first RBI of the game opened up the scoring, as an RBI single up the middle put VCU on the board in the bottom of the second.
- Dayton tied the game in the fourth, as Connor Echols singled in a run off Sean Thompson to tie things at 1-1.
- Lacey broke the tie in the bottom of the fifth, jump starting the lead the Rams wouldn't give back with a double down the line. The hit would score two runs, putting VCU up 3-1 at the time.
- Sean Thompson pitched one of his better games of the season, going 7.1 innings scattering seven hits and allowing three runs. He would strike out seven in what was his longest outing of the season.
- VCU kept the pedal to the medal in Game 2, once again opening the scoring in the bottom of the second thanks to an RBI double from Steven Carpenter.
- Like Game 1, the bottom of the seventh would be the breakout inning for runs for the Rams. They would score five runs as Dayton made four pitching changes in the inning.
- Brown opened the scoring in the seventh with an RBI double to center. Ensuing runs came from two errors, a hit by pitch to Berezo with the bases loaded, and a wild pitch.
- Starter Connor Gillispie continued his run of dominance as he sailed through six innings of scoreless work, giving up only three hits and striking out eight.
- The other bulk scoring by VCU happened in the bottom of the fifth inning, as Witt doubled in a pair of runs while Brown notched his first RBI of the game. Brown's hit would drive in Witt to put up a three spot in the inning.
- The Black & Gold's other run came in the bottom of the fourth, as an RBI single from Willett gave the Rams a 2-0 cushion as Gillispie kept up his strong start to the ballgame.
- Dayton's only run of the ballgame broke up VCU's shutout in the top of the eighth, as a wild pitch from Jack Alkire brought in the Flyers' lone run. A leadoff walk and a single put runners on the corners, setting up the opportunity to score in the inning.
VCU will return to action Sunday, April 8 as they will play Game 3 of the three-game series with Dayton to conclude the series. The game at The Diamond is scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m.