RICHMOND, Va. – The VCU Baseball team earned its first series victory of the 2012 season, with a 5-1 victory over visiting Binghamton on Saturday afternoon at The Diamond. After winning Friday's game by an identical score of 5-1, the Rams have the chance to go for the sweep over the Bearcats on Sunday.
"I thought the game played out on the pitching end like we expected," said VCU Head Coach Paul Keyes. (Junior LHP Ryan) Farrar moved the ball around well, striking out eight and not walking anyone. (Junior LHP) Brennan Huelse did a good job coming in a situation where we needed an out and came through with a nice punchout, before giving way to Blake (Hauser), who did great job on the backend. Offensively, we had some lulls in the game and we need to do a better job, by being more aggressive early. It was nice to get the win, but we still have a lot of work to do."
VCU would strike first in the contest, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, VCU freshman infielder Vimael Machin roped a double into left center field, before taking third on an infield single by senior outfielder Paul Nice. Sophomore outfielder Bill Cullen kept the string of hits going, knocking a double down the left field line to score Machin and put Nice on third. Nice would come home to score on a groundout by junior infielder Jordan Weymouth.
Binghamton's only run of the game came in the top of the seventh, fueled by a leadoff double by John Howell. Howell would come around to score on a single to right field by Dave Ciocchi.
VCU answered right back, recording a lone run in the bottom of the inning. Senior catcher Kyle Sutherland led off the inning with a single through the left side of the infield, before being spelled on the bases by sophomore Landon Prentiss. Prentiss would steal second on a swinging strikeout, before advancing to third on a single by Nice. Prentiss touched home plate following a bunt single from Cullen, which led to an errant throwfrom the Binghamton pitcher.
The Rams would tack on a pair of insurance runs in the top of the eighth, despite not recording a hit in the frame.
VCU junior pitcher Ryan Farrar grabbed his first win of the season, throwing 77 pitches in 6 and 2/3rd innings. Farrar allowed just four hits and one run, before giving way to Huelse and Hauser. Hauser would come in for the last 1 and 2/3rds, grabbing his second save of the season. The three pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts, with eight coming from Farrar.
Binghamton's Jay Lynch suffers the loss after lasting just four innings, surrendering two runs on 76 pitches. The Bearcats would use three additional pitches for the last four innings of play.
The Rams will close out the three game series against Binghamton on Sunday, with the first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. at The Diamond.