As the temperature in RVA slowly decreased, VCU Baseball ignited The Diamond with 11 hits off of #14 Virginia in the Duel at the Diamond. The Rams scored a huge upset over #14 UVA with a 7-5 win thanks to numerous Rams sending the baseball flying all over the Diamond Tuesday night.
Virginia scored first blood in the Duel at the Diamond at the top of the 2nd inning. After loading the bases on three consecutive hits, Ryan Karstetter was able to get an RBI towards second base as the Cavaliers took a 1-0 lead. VCU was still in a jam with runners on base but thanks to Jonathan Ebersole’s pitching the Rams were able to escape without adding to the deficit.
The Rams kept UVA from scoring as the game continued thanks to some good defense. Even with some sacrificial bunts from the Cavaliers, VCU were able to get themselves out of a few scenarios that could have lead to more runs for the visiting team in orange as the game continued.
Logan Farrar lead VCU to their first run in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Farrar hit a grounder near the right field line as UVA pitcher Daniel Lynch rushed to the rolling ball. Lynch was unable to tag Farrar as he threw it into the UVA dugout to advance Lynch to second off the field error. Cooper Mickelson stepped up to the plate for the Rams and cracked a fast ground ball pass the infield to send Farrar home to tie the game at 1-1 off the RBI. Another UVA field error advanced Mickelson to second base.
Things got worse for Virginia as VCU shortstop Matt Davis got a hit that went through Lynch’s legs and into the outfield. A single for Davis lead to VCU having the bases loaded with 2 outs as Darain Carpenter stepped into the batter’s box. Carpenter made contact but was called out on the pop fly as the Rams grabbed momentum over #14 UVA after three innings.
VCU exploded offensively in the bottom of the fifth inning. The combination of Farrar and Mickelson was at it again as Mickelson hit a sacrifice bunt towards 3rd base. Farrar sprinted towards home plate as UVA third baseman Justin Novak collected the ball and overthrew the catcher. This good fortune continued for VCU as Lynch threw his last pitch of the night at Matt Davis that send him to first base as UVA switched to Tyler Shambora on the mound.
Shambora did not have the introduction he wanted as the first pitch he threw to Carpenter was sent out of the Diamond for a three run homer that sent the VCU crowd into a frenzy. All smiles from Carpenter as he tagged all the bases and came running home with his third home run of the season and putting the Rams up 5-1.
UVA nearly put up an answer in the top of the 6th with the bases loaded but Mickelson was able to smother up the ground ball for the 3rd out to get VCU out of the jam. Shambora got caught in a jam with the balk as he tried to tag Farrar before the pitch in the bottom of the sixth. Farrar advanced to second base while Zach Ching advanced from 3rd to home plate to increase the lead to five.
Mickelson added another run to the UVA defensive meltdown off of a single that bounced off of Shambora on the mound. Multiple Cavaliers confused as to which player would pick up the ball as Farrar sprinted home behind UVA to score with VCU holding a 7-1 lead.
Adam Haseley was able to stop the bleeding for Virginia with a two run homer. Novak was already on base due to a VCU field error as Haseley saw the pitch and sent it flying over the right field wall to cut the deficit to 7-3 in the top of the 7th.
The Cavaliers could not come up with an answer as innings passed UVA by until the 9th inning. Matt Thaiss hit an RBI double that just got by a diving Cody Acker to make it 7-4. Pavin Smith was grounded out to make 2 but UVA was able to get another runner to come home to cut VCU’s lead to two runs. Matt Jammer sealed the deal with a strikeout on Daniel Pinero to claim a Black & Gold victory over #14 UVA at the Diamond.
This was VCU’s first win over Virginia since 2003 as the Rams snapped Virginia’s eight game winning streak against the Rams at the Diamond.
Ram Reminder: VCU travels to Rhode Island for a three game Atlantic 10 series starting on Friday, April 8th at 3 PM.
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