Box Score (PDF)
RICHMOND, Va. – The St. Bonaventure University baseball team could not hold a late three-run lead and watched as defending Atlantic 10 champion VCU rallied for a 6-5 victory to open conference play on Friday night.
The Bonnies are now 9-6-1 on the year and 0-1 in Atlantic play while VCU is 14-7, 1-0.
With Friday's game tied 2-2, the Bonnies pushed ahead with a three-run fifth. A sacrifice fly from Ted Dilts got the scoring started in the inning and a double by Tommy LaCongo plated two more for a 5-2 Bonnies advantage.
That tally stood until the seventh when the Rams loaded the bases with no outs. With one run already home, pinch hitter Nick Rabat cleared the bases with a double to the gap in right center field, taking the Rams from two down to one up, capping off a four-run uprising.
St. Bonaventure had numerous chances to add more offense, leaving 12 men on base. The Bonnies had a golden opportunity in the ninth, loading the bases with no outs. David Vaccaro hit a ball to shortstop for a double play where the runner sliding into second was ruled out of the base path. Interference was called and the runner who could have scored from third as well as the runner from second each had to return to their respective bases. A strikeout ended the threat.
Jimmy Kerrigan collected three of VCU's six hits.
Connor Grey (2-2) started and went seven innings for the Bonnies, cruising until running into trouble in the seventh, finishing with five earned runs allowed while striking out three.
Matt Jamer (3-1) earned the win with 2.1 scoreless innings of relief for the Rams while Sam Donko recorded his ninth save of the year with two scoreless frames.
The teams renew acquaintances with game two of the three game series at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
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