BASEBALL EARNS SERIES SWEEP OVER WESTERN CAROLINA

Final Score: VCU 5, Western Carolina 4 (Game 1) 
                    VCU 11, Western Carolina 1 (8 inn.) (Game 2)
Location: McNair Field (Forest City, N.C.)
Records: VCU 34-21 (14-10 A-10), Western Carolina 7-45 

The Short Story: A treacherous forecast of weather hung over the countryside of Forest City, N.C. for a majority of the weekend, making the series between the VCU Rams and the Western Carolina Catamounts one that topped an hour in delay time and over 12 hours between the second and third out in the bottom of the fifth in the first game played. Despite an early 2-1 deficit when the game was called on Friday, the Black & Gold swept the Catamounts by scores of 5-4 and 11-1 on Saturday in the game and a half doubleheader.

 

LEADING OFF 

  • Hogan Brown paced the offense with a four RBI series, going a combined 3-for-5 with two runs scored, a double, and three walks.
  • Daane Berezo had an equally successful weekend at the dish, going 4-for-7, which included a 3-for-3 Game 2 with three RBI, a run scored, a two walks, and two hit by pitches.
  • Mitchel Lacey also smacked the ball around the park, finishing 4-for-8 with a home run, a double, four RBI, a run scored, and a walk.
  • Zac Ching collected a pair of triples, while Steven Carpenter, Paul Witt, and Andrew Schatz all joined the extra-base brigade with doubles.
  • Between the two games, the Rams drew 13 walks and four hit by pitches for 17 free passes off the Catamount pitching staff.

 

HOW IT HAPPENED 

Game 1 

  • Western Carolina held a 2-1 lead thanks to a home run and RBI sac bunt on Friday night. But with the weather uncooperative, the game would get delayed twice, with the second one shutting things down at 9:45 p.m. to be played and resumed with two outs in the bottom of the fifth on Saturday. Once resumed on Saturday, VCU would take over.
  • Brown broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings, as we collected a trio of RBI between the two frames to give VCU their first lead, and some extra cushion. A pair of RBI singles did the trick, giving the Rams a 3-2 edge in the sixth, and a 5-2 lead in the seventh.
  • The Catamounts made a valiant comeback in the bottom of the ninth inning, as they were able to tag McCarty with two runs in the frame. However, VCU was able to hang on to the 5-4 victory as McCarty notched the save.
  • VCU tied the ballgame in the top of the sixth inning, as they were able to get runners on first and third base after a Lacey single. Carpenter cashed in with a sacrifice fly to left to score Witt and even things up at 2-2.
  • Berezo would supply the lone run in Friday's night's first half of the game, singling through the right side in the top of the third with two outs to score Andrew Schatz to, at the time, tie things at 1-1.

 

Game 2 

  • The Rams got the game going with a pair of runs, with one each coming in the second and third inning. A Ching triple in the second put him in position to score early, which he did on a wild pitch to make the game 1-0 VCU. Lacey delivered the second punch with an RBI single in the third to take a 2-0 lead.
  • Lacey came back with the big knock of the game in the top of the seventh inning. He would cap what would be a six-run inning for the Rams with a three-run home run to left field to put the score at 10-1.
  • A double by Carpenter, a sacrifice groundout from Lamb, and a single from Daane Berezo all added to the 4-1 lead VCU held in the seventh before Lacey's big blast.
  • Berezo recorded RBI singles in the top of the fourth and the top of the eighth as well, with the run in the eighth putting the Rams at the 10 run limit to call the game after the bottom of the inning.
  • The combo of six pitchers in the ballgame, with Connor Gillispie, Devin Dunn, Braxton Wilks, Garrett Pearson, Ryan Fox, and Ben Nelson all held the Catamounts to only one run and five hits. The staff would only walk two while striking out nine on the ballgame.

 

WHAT'S NEXT

VCU will return to action Wednesday, May 23 for Game 1 of the Atlantic 10 Championship. The sixth-seeded Rams will take on the third-seeded Fordham Rams in the first game of the tournament at 10 a.m. Wednesday. The tournament is being held at George Washington University.