ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – A six-run eighth inning broke open a tie game in Friday's opener before the Rams took early control and never looked back in the nightcap to sweep a doubleheader from the St. Bonaventure baseball team at Fred Handler Park.
With five hits on the day, senior Ryan MacCarrick extended his hitting streak to 15 games.
GAME 1 – VCU 11, St. Bonaventure 4 | Box Score (PDF)
The final score of the first game of the day did little to show how the contest truly played out.
VCU moved ahead 2-1 with a pair of runs in the third, but the Bonnies would push back in front in the fourth.
Tyler Kelder led off with a single behind third base, moving to second on a hit to right from Ben MacDonald. Mike Magnanti tied the game with his run-scoring single, then the Bonnies took the lead again when MacCarrick slapped a single to give the hosts a 3-2 advantage.
The Rams would tie the game in the sixth for a 3-3 score that would hold until the eighth.
With the game all square, Liam Hibbits hit a homer just over the fence in left under the scoreboard to break the tie. Zac Ching followed with a homer of his own to left for a 5-3 lead.
Ultimately the Rams would send 10 men to the plate in what became a six-run inning to break open the game. Two more runs crossed the plate in the ninth to end any doubt.
Brandon Schlimm pitched seven strong innings, allowing just two earned runs with five strikeouts. MacCarrick went 3-for-5 to pace the offense.
GAME 2 – VCU 8, St. Bonaventure 2 | Box Score (PDF)
St. Bonaventure out-hit VCU by a 13-7 margin in the nightcap, but miscues from the Bonnies and timely hits by the Rams allowed the visitors to jump out to a commanding lead.
Again, Bona had a chance early to pull ahead after Sam Fuller reached on an infield single and Magnanti walked to lead off the first before VCU starter Connor Gillispie recovered to get out of the jam.
VCU got on the board with two in the third, but the Bonnies threatened to answer on back-to-back hits from Magnanti and MacCarrick. Gillispie again retired the side before any damage could be done.
The Rams then played tack-on, adding a run in the fifth and four runs in the sixth, taking advantage of four Bona errors.
Gillispie (6-1) remained in control, striking out 10 in his six innings of work to earn the win.
Ben Contento worked a career-high seven innings, striking out four.
The Bonnies and Rams are scheduled to finish their series Saturday at 11 a.m.
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