VCU Sweeps La Salle
The Explorers were unable to locate Home plate in the series finale with the Rams. VCU earned the sweep over La Salle with some excellent pitching performances in a 3-0 victory.
Michael Dailey made his 6th start for the Black and Gold this season. He pitched effectively through a few jams in his time on the mound. Dailey worked himself into a tight spot in the first inning with a runner on 3rd and 1 out. Shawn Stiffler brought his infield in and the strategy helped save a run when McGowen grounded out to Mitchell Lacey at third. Dailey had to hold his breath after a deep fly ball left the bat of first baseman Ben Faso, Alex Gransback made the catch on the warning track.
In the 2nd inning Dailey got away with allowing a leadoff double to Brian Tagoe. The La Salle outfielder made his way to 3rd base with 2 outs before Dailey got another ground out to Lacey.
Dailey erased a 3rd straight leadoff hitter in the next inning thanks to a couple strike outs.
The 4th inning was the first time the VCU starter did not allow a leadoff batter to reach. A 2 out single was the only blemish during that frame.
Dailey’s day ended in the 5th inning. He pitched 4 2/3, giving up 4 hits 3 strikeouts and 1 walk. Benjamin Dum came into the game to bail out his starter who left the game with runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs. Dum did his teammate a favor by stranding the runners and closing the scoreless line on Dailey’s start.
5th inning. Ryan Guckin cost La Salle a run by misjudging a fly ball to left field. It would have been close but if Guckin tagged up the moment Gransback made the catch he could have scored the first run for his team. That was their last chance to score in the frame.
C.J. Pruitt took the mound for the Explorers in the series finale. The sophomore quickly worked a 1-2-3 first and struck out the first 2 batters of the 2nd inning before Lacey got the first hit for the Rams, a single to right field. Brett Willett, Darian Carpenter and Zac Ching each walked following the base hit. Lacey scored the first run of the day after Ching walked with the bases loaded. That turned the lineup card over for VCU and Pruitt finally ended the inning by getting Daane Berezo to groundout to the short stop.
A leadoff walk in the 4th allowed the Rams to get to Pruitt for another run. Lacey went first to home on a double to the right field corner. It was Willett’s received the RBI on his first hit of the day. Pruitt managed to steer into the skid, after an infield single for Darian Carpenter put runners on the corners with no outs, he induced a double play from Ching. Willett scored from 3rd on the twin killing. La Salle’s starter allowed his 6th free pass of the day to Berezo. The 2 out walk proved harmless after Logan Farrar flew out to center for out number 3.
Pruitt’s day came to an end after 4 innings of work. He allowed 3 hits 3 runs 6 walks 3 strikeouts.
For VCU Dum would give them 1 1/3 innings of hitless work. Hayden Moore came into the game to start the 7th. Moore got himself into 2 out trouble after an error and a single. He would be relieved by VCU’s All American Sam Donko. The righty had to deal with runners on 1st and 2nd and Rafael Amanau at the plate. Donko got Amanau to strike out to end the 7th.
With a 3-0 lead Donko proved to be automatic. The senior closed out the final 2 innings, securing VCU’s 14th win on the year. He struck out 5 of the 10 batters he faced on route to his 6th save on the year.
VCU only had 5 hits but 6 walks helped them push across their 3 runs.
The Rams move to 14-10 on the year and start conference play with a 3-0 record. VCU will be in action again on Tuesday against the University of Virginia. First pitch is scheduled for 7PM.
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