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Tuesday College Baseball Round Up

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From LU athletics:

LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Liberty Flames jumped out to a 6-0 lead after two innings of play and then received a solid relief effort from pitcher Shawn Clowers, en route to a 10-7 win over the Richmond Spiders, Tuesday night at the Liberty Baseball Stadium.

      Liberty struck for two runs in the first inning and four in the second to take a 6-0 lead, they never relinquished. 

      After the Spiders plated five runs in the third inning, Clowers entered the game with two outs and two men on and he retired the next batter on a ground out to end the scoring threat. The left-hander went on to give up two runs on two hits over 5 1/3 innings of work to run his record to 3-0 on the season. He struck out six batters and walked one.

      Liberty moves to 26-8 on the season. The Flames have won four-straight contests and 12 out of their last 13. Richmond drops to 14-15-1 on the year.

      Liberty plated two two-out runs in the first. With right fielder Will Shepherd and second baseman Ryan Seiz on board, shortstop Dalton Britt singled to score Shepherd for a 1-0 edge. First baseman Alex Close followed with a RBI single for a 2-0 advantage.

      Liberty added to its lead with four runs in the second. After the Flames loaded the bases with one out, Shepherd plated the first run of the inning, reaching on a fielding error by Richmond starter Peter Bayer. Designated hitter Becker Sankey followed by lining a double into the right field corner to clear the bases to give Liberty a 6-0 lead.

      Richmond struck for five runs in the top of the third. After left fielder Eric Flanagan singled to lead off the inning, second baseman Mike Small tripled into the right fielder corner for the Spiders' first run of the contest. Catcher Cory Moheit followed with a ground rule double to make it, 6-2.  Center fielder Tanner Stanley then hit a two-run home run, his fourth of the year, cutting the Liberty advantage to 6-4. Later in the inning, the Spiders scored again on a single by designated hitter Kurtis Brown, trimming the Flames' edge to one at 6-5.

      In the home half of the third, Liberty answered with three runs. With one out, catcher Danny Grauer was hit by a pitch and third baseman Dylan Allen singled. Center fielder Ashton Perritt followed by ripping a triple into the right field gap for a three-run Liberty advantage at 8-5. Two batters later, Shepherd lifted a sacrifice fly to plate Perritt for a 9-5 lead.

      Richmond cut into the Liberty lead again in the fifth. With a runner aboard, third baseman Matt Dacey lined his eighth home run over the right field fence, moving the Spiders to within two at 9-7.

      The Flames extended their advantage to what proved to be the final score of 10-7 in the sixth. With one out, Seiz singled and advanced to third on a single by Sankey. Britt followed with a ground out, scoring Seiz for a three-run edge.

      Perritt retired the side in order in the top of the ninth to earn his eighth save of the year and close out the Liberty win.

      Richmond starter Peter Bayer drops to 1-2 on the season.  He was roughed up for nine runs on five hits over three innings.  He struck out three and walked four batters.

      Hits were even in the game at 10-10. Allen, Perritt and Sankey each had two hits for the Flames. Dacey collected three hits for the Spiders.

      Liberty takes to the road for a three-game Big South series at Longwood.  The series opens Friday evening at Bolding Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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From UVa athletics:

 

HARRISONBURG, Va. – The second-ranked Virginia baseball team cruised to a 9-3 win at James Madison Tuesday evening in front of a capacity crowd of 1,632 at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park. Four UVa pitchers combined on a four-hitter as the Cavaliers improved to 28-5 on the season. UVa has allowed 10 hits over the last four games.

Joe McCarthy (So., Scranton, Pa.) went 4-for-5 with a home run, two doubles and four RBI to lead the Virginia offense, which finished with 14 hits. John La Prise (So., Exton, Pa.) was 3-for-3 and reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances, while Mike Papi (Jr., Tunkhannock, Pa.) homered and drove in four runs. 

Virginia starting pitcher Alec Bettinger (Fr., Woodbridge, Va.) worked four scoreless innings. Bettinger (4-0) gave up a pair of hits and three hits while striking out one to earn the win. Artie Lewicki (Sr., Wyckoff, N.J.), Whit Mayberry (R-Sr., Alexandria, Va.) and Kevin Doherty (So., Laytonsville, Md.) combined to surrender two hits over the final five innings. Lewicki struck out five batters in three innings of relief.

In the last 56 innings covering seven games, Virginia has allowed just six runs. 

JMU starter Ben Garner (0-1) worked one inning and left the game after being struck with a line drive to end the opening inning. He gave up a pair of runs on McCarthy's home run.

Virginia scored quickly as Daniel Pinero (Fr., Toronto, Ontario) walked with one out in the first inning and scored when McCarthy hit a towering home run to right-center. It was McCarthy's third home run of the season.

UVa added a run in the fourth on a Nick Howard (Jr., Olney, Md.) sacrifice fly to score McCarthy who doubled to lead off the inning and advanced on a balk.

Papi cranked a long home run to right field in the fifth inning. The two-run shot was Papi's team-leading sixth homer of the year and it gave Virginia a 5-0 advantage.

The Cavaliers padded their lead with three runs in the sixth. UVa loaded the bases with none out before reliever Kevin Feehan entered to get Papi to ground into a run-scoring fielder's choice. McCarthy then ripped a double to the wall in right-center to score a pair and stretch the lead to 8-0.

UVa tacked on a run in the seventh when Papi grounded out to score La Prise. 

Down to its final strike in the ninth inning, JMU (11-18) broke up the shutout on a two-run double by Kyle Weston and added a run on a misplayed fly ball that led to a run-scoring triple for Josh Wyatt.

Virginia returns home Friday to start a seven-game homestand at Davenport Field. The Cavaliers face No. 14 Clemson Friday through Sunday (April 11-13) in an ACC series.
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From VCU athletics:

 

FINAL: VCU 11 (23-7), Virginia Tech 6 (14-16-1) (Richmond, Va.) – The Diamond

VCU STARTERS: Acker (RF), Bunn (LF), Cujas (3B), Machin (SS), Ayers (C), Cullen (CF), Davis (2B), Farrar (DH), Marino (1B), Concepcion (RHP)

VIRGINIA TECH STARTERS: Jenco (CF), Perez (2B), Zagunis (DH), Hayeden (3B), Keselica (LF), Sciretta (1B), Stoffel (RF), Mogg (C), Surum (SS), Scheetz (LHP)

THE BASICS: Virginia Tech scored the first five runs of the night, taking a 5-0 to the bottom of the seventh. The Rams then ripped off 11 consecutive runs in the next two frames to take an 11-5 lead. VCU's offensive outburst was highlighted by a 4-for-4 day from catcher Chris Ayers.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • In the top of the first inning the Hokies loaded the bases with a Brendon Hayden walk and one out on the scoreboard. Junior starter Daniel Concepcion was able to get out of the jam by getting Sean Keselica to ground into an inning ending 6-4-3 double play.
  • Virginia Tech loaded the bases again in the third, after back-to-back hitters were hit by pitches. The next batter, third baseman Brendon Hayden, lifted a sacrifice fly into left plating the game's first run.
  • With two outs in the fourth, the Rams got back-to-back hits from junior Vimael Machin and Chris Ayers, putting the two on third and second respectively. VCU stranded the two runners, leaving the inning still behind 1-0.
  • Both clubs traded scoreless frames over the next three innings before the Hokies plated four in the seventh inning.
  • In the seventh Virginia Tech produced runs on an RBI single from Alex Perez, a Brendon Hayden two-RBI double, and a wild pitch brought home Mark Zagunis. The four runs pushed the Hokies lead out to 5-0.
  • VCU didn't wait long to close the gap, scoring four runs in the bottom half. The first four Ram hitters collected hits to open the frame. The final two hits plated two runs, on a Bill Cullen RBI-single and a Logan Farrar RBI-double. Senior Trevor Marino plated the next run on an RBI-groundout and a Cody Acker's RBI-single scored the innings final run, closing the Hokies lead to 5-4.
  • With runners on at second and third a Farrar triple cleared the bases making the score 6-5. Farrar went on to score during the same play, when the Virginia Tech third baseman misplayed the throw in.
  • The Rams scored four more runs in the eighth, getting three RBIs from a Machin double and another RBI off a senior Landon Prentiss double.
  • The Hokies attempted to rally in the top of the ninth but only plated one run, after Hayden doubled to right center, plating Zagunis, cutting the score to 11-6.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • Starter Daniel Concepcion went 6.2 innings, allowing two runs and scattering four hits. The four Hokie hits were the second fewest the righthander has allowed in a start.
  • With a hit in the seventh inning, sophomore Cody Acker extended his hitting streak to 11 games. The streak stands as the longest for any Ram this season.
  • Machin and Farrar produced three RBIs for VCU in the win. For Machin the three RBIs marked the seventh multiple RBI game for the Puerto Rico native.
  • Eight of the Rams starters recorded a hit on the day, with five Black and Gold starters collecting multiple hits.
  • In the two games against the Hokies the Rams totaled 32 runs to win both contests.

QUOTABLE

I was really happy with the performance we got out of Daniel Concepcion tonight, even though he didn't get the win, he kept us in a pretty tight game early. Tech's Kit Scheetz really did a good job attacking our lineup, forcing us to work for everything we got in the early goings.

VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler

It really shows a lot about our ball club and the resiliency we have to battle back down 5-0 in the seventh, and score 11 runs in the seventh and eighth.

VCU Head Coach Shawn Stiffler

Our upperclassmen once again came up big for us when we needed them. Ayers with four hits and Machin with three RBIs, from the fourth and fifth spot in the lineup were keys to helping us put up as many runs as we did.

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From VMI athletics:

LEXINGTON, Va. – Five VMI pitchers combined to scatter seven hits and Thomas Stallings homered to provide insurance runs in the eighth as the VMI Keydets downed the William & Mary Tribe, 5-1, in non-conference action Tuesday night at Gray-Minor Stadium.

 

The Keydets (17-13) took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on a Cameron Walter sacrifice fly and held a William & Mary (20-11) offense that entered the game ranked second in Division I in batting average (.336) to just three hits the rest of the way. All of those hits were singles and the Tribe finished the game having put just six runners in scoring position for the entire contest. Stallings, meanwhile, went deep in the eighth for his second career long ball to provide all the insurance the Keydet bullpen needed.

 

Ryan Bennett (1-1) got the win for VMI, as he pitched four predetermined innings to pick up his first collegiate victory. He allowed one run on four hits and struck out four, while Aaron Fernandez (2-2) gave up two runs in the fourth and took the loss for the Tribe.

 

Stallings led the Keydet offense by going 2 for 2 off the bench, while Brandon Angus also chipped in two hits and Nick Thompson was 3 for 5 for the visitors.

 

Bennett pitched out of a third-inning jam as he got Division I home run leader Michael Katz to ground out with two on, but the Tribe got on the board in the fourth. Charley Gould led off that frame with a towering home run off the left-field scoreboard, his third of the year that gave the visitors a 1-0 lead.

 

VMI answered in the bottom half, when David Geary led off with a single up the middle. Angus then hit a long drive off the center field wall that went for a triple, his second three-bagger of the year, to score Geary and tie the game, 1-1. That broke a 30-inning scoreless streak for the VMI offense, and Walter immediately followed with a sacrifice fly to give the home team the lead for good, 2-1.

 

Travis Thomas relieved Bennett and pitched around a two-base error to open the fifth, escaping the inning without allowing a run. VMI then added on in the sixth, when Eric Mayers had a one-out single. Stallings then drove a 1-2 pitch deep into the right center field alley for a double, scoring Mayers for a 3-1 VMI advantage.

 

W&M put two on against Rian Ellis in the seventh, but again, failed to get a hit with two outs as Gould grounded out. Jonathan Kelley pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and the Keydets capped the scoring in the bottom half. Geary led off with a walk, and two batters later, Stallings hit a long drive off the yellow line on the top of the left field fence. The ball hit that stripe on top of the wall and bounced over for a two-run shot, giving the Keydets a 5-1 cushion. It was Stallings' first career home run at Gray-Minor Stadium and it accounted for the final margin of victory.

 

The victory was VMI's fifth in the last seven meetings between the clubs and moved VMI to 12-4 at home on the year, just one shy of last season's win total at Gray-Minor Stadium.

 

VMI baseball will return to action Wednesday, facing the Richmond Spiders at Gray-Minor Stadium. Game time is set for 6 p.m.

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