LEXINGTON, Va. – For the second consecutive game, the Virginia Commonwealth University baseball team used a balanced team effort to pick up a 5-3 victory over VMI, snapping a five-game winning streak for the Keydets in NCAA baseball action on Tuesday evening at Gray-Minor Stadium. Redshirt freshman Aaron Morgan tossed three shutout innings of relief and […]
LEXINGTON, Va. – For the second consecutive game, the Virginia Commonwealth University baseball team used a balanced team effort to pick up a 5-3 victory over VMI, snapping a five-game winning streak for the Keydets in NCAA baseball action on Tuesday evening at Gray-Minor Stadium.
Redshirt freshman Aaron Morgan tossed three shutout innings of relief and freshman Michael Cheatham notched two hits to lead the Rams to their second straight win and improve to 7-19 overall, while VMI falls to 15-16 on the 2008 season.
After Black and Gold starter Ian Thomas and Ryan Barefoot kept the offenses off the scoreboard for the first two frames, Cheatham launched his first collegiate homerun over the leftfield wall to stake the Rams to a 1-0 advantage.
Sophomore Richard Gonzalez continued the third-inning rally as he stroked a single through the right side and moved to third on a throwing error by Barefoot. Junior Chris Jackson plated Gonzalez with a fielder’s choice as VCU claimed a 2-0 lead after three innings of play.
Cheatham would strike again in the top of the fourth as he smashed a double down the right field line to plate his high school teammate Eric Curtis, who previously reached on a single, as the Black and Gold pushed their lead to 3-0 after four frames.
Back-to-back doubles by junior R.J. Schenk and senior Kwan Evans put runners on second and third with no outs before Jackson stroked a sacrifice fly to right field to plate Schenk and extend their lead to 4-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth.
A.J. Yoder would stroke the second pitch of sophomore Phillip Deane’s relief outing over the right field wall to get the Keydets on the scoreboard with a 4-1 after five complete innings.
VMI would start a rally in the bottom half of the seventh as Brian Sandridge and Jordan Ballard stroked consecutive singles and moved to second and third on a wild pitch as the Keydets had runners on second and third with no outs. A pinch-hit single by Michael Roberts and a double-play plated two runs, but Morgan was able to get out of the jam with the lead at 4-3 in favor of the Rams.
Gonzalez would start a two-out rally in the top of the ninth as he was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a walk by junior Jared Bolden. A Keydet error allow Gonzalez to come around and score an insurance run as the Black and Gold claimed a 5-3 lead heading into the last half inning of play.
Morgan would make sure that VCU would come home with a win as the left-hander posted back-to-back strikeouts and a groundout to pick up his second save of the year.
Thomas (1-2) picked up his first win of the season tossing four scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and striking out two. Barefoot takes the loss as the freshman falls to 1-1 in his debut season with the Keydets.
Offensively, Cheatham and Gonzalez had multi-hit performances with two hits apiece, while Cheatham had two RBIs and a run scored. Jackson was 1-for-3 with two RBIs in the contest.
The Rams return to the field tomorrow evening as they travel west to Blacksburg , Va. to take on the Hokies of Virginia Tech in a 5:30 p.m. contest.
– The information above was provided by Scott Day at VCU