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VCU Baseball: UVA Duel at the Diamond

VCU Baseball: UVA Duel at the Diamond

UVA suppressed VCU’s offense behind Derek Casey’s strikeout laden start.

Derek Casey made his 6th start of the season against the Rams. He gave his squad 6 1/3 innings of excellent work. After a rough 1st inning that was made more difficult thanks to couple errors, Casey sliced through the Ram lineup. When he was pulled in the seventh inning, 10 VCU at-bats ended in strikeouts. He allowed 5 hits 2 walks and 2 runs, only 1 was earned.

VCU quickly put up 2 runs on Casey. Logan Farrar got the first hit of the day from the 2 spot in the lineup. He hit a 1 out double to left field. With 2 outs, freshman second baseman Paul Witt brought the senior in from 2nd base. Witt hit a single through the middle but could advance to 2nd after Haseley attempted to throw Farrar out at home. Haseley was charged with a throwing error. Zac Ching came in to hit with 2 outs and Witt on second. Ching struck out swinging but a dropped 3rd strike gave him a chance to get to 1st. UVA’s catcher Caleb Knight made an errant throw, allowing Witt to score all the way from second. Witt provided both runs in the 1st inning for the Rams. A couple errors gave him an opportunity to give VCU a small cushion.

The Hoos tried to manufacture some runs in the 3rd inning behind a pair of singles to start the frame. Charlie Cody’s base hit was UVA’s first of the evening, Caleb Knight hit another single to put runners on 1st and 2nd. Nate Eikhoff laid down a sacrifice bunt to push both runners into scoring position. Ebersole was poised in a dangerous spot early. He got Jake McCarthy to strikeout for out number 2. The VCU righty went down 3-0 in the count to Ernie Clement before he got the shortstop to fly out in right field. That would be his last inning of work. Shawn Stiffler went to his bullpen in the 4th. Stiffler called Benjamin Dum out of the pen first. Dum had a quick 4th UVA would get on the board in the 5th.

UVA scored a run in the 5th after a confusing play. Eikhoff hit a routine flyball to Farrar in center, Farrar was casually moving under the ball when he slipped to his knees, it wasn’t clear if he made the catch. Knight who was on first base thought Logan dropped the ball in center so he didn’t tag up when he ran to 2nd. First base umpire, Tony Carilli signaled out in center field. Farrar made the heads up play to throw back to first base to get Knight out for not tagging up. Knight never attempted to get back to first.  It wasn’t a complete disaster for the Hoos, Charlie Cody scored their first run from third, he was tagging up regardless of the catch in center. Cody had to steal second base and then advance to third on an infield hit from Knight. Brian O’Conner the UVA head coach, let Carilli hear his displeasure with the call, after the dust settled. Another fly out to center ended the frame for UVA, that prompted O’Conner to have an extended meeting with the umpire.

In the 6th inning, with Hayden Moore on the mound, a UVA double steal led to the game-tying run. Haseley stole second after a leadoff single, his 2nd of the game, he and Pavin Smith would execute a double steal soon after. Isquirdo tried to catch Haseley at 3rd, his throw was on time but it was off target. The ball leaked into the outfield and the game was tied at 2. Moore managed to escape the inning by getting the next two batters to hit into Farrar’s glove.

Bennet Sousa relieved Casey in the 6th. Sousa recorded 3 outs, including a double-play in the 6th to finish the frame. Chad Harrington faced 3 batters before being pulled in the 8th. He got a strikeout before allowing Witt and Ching to reach consecutively. Tommy Doyle replaced Harrington with runners on 1st and 2nd and 2 outs. Alex Gransback grounded out to the mound, ending the scoring threat for VCU.

The Rams gave themselves a great chance to at least tie the game in the 9th. Mitchell Lacey and pinch hitting J.P. Vail got aboard to start the frame. Steven Carpenter pinch hit for Simon, Carpenter struck out of the first out of the inning. The game ended in a disastrous way for the Rams. Daane Berezo struck out and Lacey was got stealing for a game-ending double play.

UVA earned a 4-2 victory in front of 4024 fans at the Diamond. The crowd was split about 50-50 between UVA and VCU fans.

The Rams dropped to 14-11. They will host a weekend series against George Washington, starting on Friday.

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Derek graduated from VCU in 2015 with a degree in broadcast journalism. As the Sports Director for VCU’s student run radio station, WVCW, he garnered a handful of nominations for the Intercollegiate Broadcasting Systems Awards and received an award with fellow contributor Darnell Myrick for their Men’s Basketball Play-by-Play. He’s worked as a producer for multiple radio stations in Richmond and served as the In-Game Host for the Washington Nationals. Derek strives to bring a thoughtful and measured approach to his coverage of VCU sports, while still holding on to his zealous enthusiasm for his alma mater.


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