CLUTCH PERFORMANCES LEAD BASEBALL TO DOUBLEHEADER SWEEP AT ST. BONAVENTURE

Final Score: VCU 11, St. Bonaventure 4 (Game 1)
                    VCU 8, St. Bonaventure 2 (Game 2)
Location: Fred Handler Park (Olean, N.Y.)
Records: VCU 23-12 (8-3 A-10), St. Bonaventure 6-19 (2-7 A-10)

The Short Story: It was a tale of solid performances in a doubleheader on Friday afternoon, as Paul Witt would lead an offensive charge in Game 1, while Connor Gillispie threw lights out in Game 2 as the VCU Rams swept both games over the St. Bonaventure Bonnies by scores of 11-4 and 8-2.

 

LEADING OFF 

  • Witt's game one performance led the way, as he finished 3-for-6 with five RBI on the game. He finished his day with…
  • Gillispie was sharp on the mound in Game 2, tossing six shutout innings, scattering six hits and striking out 10 batters.
  • Daane Berezo led all hitters with four hits on the day, with a 3-for-4 showing in Game 1 with three runs scored and an RBI. He added a hit and three RBI in Game 2 for a solid overall showing.
  • Liam Hibbits and Zac Ching each smacked solo home runs in Game 1, both their second big flys of the season.
  • Mitchel Lacey added four hits on the day, with two in each game, while Haiden Lamb chipped in with three hits.
  • With the win in Game 1, Head Coach Shawn Stiffler notched his 200th victory at the helm of the Rams. He is the third coach behind Tony Guzzo and Paul Keyes to collect the achievement.

 

HOW IT HAPPENED 

Game 1 

  • The Rams broke the game open in the eighth inning, as they batted through the lineup and scored five runs to take an 9-3 lead.
  • Everything started as Hibbits and Ching both hit solo home runs back-to-back to lead off the top of the eighth inning to give VCU a 5-3 lead. That began the parade of runs through the inning.
  • VCU put on more runners, leading to a single by Witt, an error on a grounder from Hogan Brown, a wild pitch to score one, and a double from Josh Simon to conclude the scoring in the eighth to give the Rams six run sin the inning.
  • Witt would double in the ninth to add another two runs on the board, scoring Lamb and Berezo on the play.
  • However, it would be a big hit from Witt in the top of the third on a hit and run on a double pulled down the left field line. It would give VCU a 2-1 lead after St. Bonaventure scored the opening run in the bottom of the first inning.
  • The Bonnies tied the game, and took the lead in the top of the fourth, with a pair of singles that scored runs giving them a 3-2 lead.
  • A safety squeeze from Berezo tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth, setting up the game's finish headed into the eighth inning.

 

Game 2 

  • VCU would take the lead in the top of the third inning, as Berezo would get his fourth hit of the day with a single through the left side of the infield, scoring both Ching and Willett on the play. That would give the Rams a 2-0 lead.
  • Berezo's hot streak stayed relevant in the top of the fifth inning, as VCU was able to once again get runners on second and third with one out. Berezo poked a ball up the middle that would be fielded and thrown to first to get Berezo out. However, the Rams would get a run from the ground out to go up 3-0.
  • The Rams stretched out their lead in the top of the sixth, as Andrew Schatz knocked in a pair of runs on a double with the bases loaded, starting the scoring in the inning.
  • Ching followed with a sacrifice fly and Lamb with a bunt single with a runner on third to score four in the sixth inning giving the Black & Gold a 7-0 lead.
  • Gillispie used a pair of strikeouts to evade trouble in the second, third, and fourth innings, keeping the Bonnies off the board through those innings.
  • Trouble rang in the bottom of the first inning for Gillispie, as the first two base runners reached base on a single and a walk. However, a groundout, and two fly outs would get him out of the inning unharmed.
  • However, Gillispie settled in and had one of his best outings of the season, putting together six scoreless innings.
  • St. Bonaventure jumped on the board in the bottom of the seventh and added a run in the ninth, as Ryan MacCarrick singled in a run to bring the score to 7-1 in the seventh. A single from Mike Magnanti would give the Bonnies their run in the ninth.
  • Brown put the icing on the cake in the top of the ninth as he singled through the left side with two out to score Lacey and put the score at 8-1.

 

WHAT'S NEXT

VCU will return to action Saturday, April 14 when they will play Game 3 of the three-game series against the St. Bonaventure Bonnies. First pitch for the matchup has been moved up, now scheduled for 11 a.m.