__Losses bring Tribe’s CAA record to 10-10, dropping them to fifth place in the conference__
This past weekend, the Tribe faced the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams in Richmond. The College entered the series coming off of two wins versus Hofstra University and a victory against Liberty University. The Rams, however, managed to overpower the Tribe and sweep the series 13-8, 5-4 and 8-7. With the losses, the Tribe falls to 23-19 overall and 10-10 in conference play.
p. In the first game of the series, the Tribe offense combined for 12 hits, as sophomore first baseman Mike Sheridan went 3-for-4, and junior centerfielder Paul Juliano, senior third baseman Greg Sexton and junior designated hitter Tim Park each tallied two hits for the day. The College came out strong in the fourth inning, down 3-0, scoring five runs and taking the lead. VCU responded and pushed across seven in the bottom of the fifth, gaining a 10-5 advantage. Although the Tribe scored three more runs in the sixth to close the gap to two, the Rams maintained the lead, answering with three runs of their own before the end of the game. Junior starter Pete Vernon recorded the loss (6-4), allowing six earned runs in 4.1 innings of play. The bullpen could not quite get into rhythm, as relievers senior Warrik Staines, junior Mike LaFleur, junior Jimmy Drury and junior Sean Grieve took the mound in the contest. The big fourth inning included doubles from Juliano, Park and Sexton.
p. In the second game of the series, McWhorter, Sexton and junior designated hitter Greg Maliniak all went 2-for-4. Down 5-0, the Tribe rallied to push across three in the seventh as Sexton doubled and a Maliniak single brought Sexton home. Sophomore right fielder Robbie Nickle reached first after being hit by a pitch, and a sacrifice bunt from Juliano advanced Maliniak and Nickle. A double from sophomore left fielder Jeff Jones scored Maliniak and Nickle. The Tribe scored one more in the ninth as Maliniak singled to score Sexton, but the effort was not enough to top the Rams. Freshman starter Tyler Truxell recorded the loss, allowing five runs in 5.1 innings of play, and freshman Kevin Landry offered sound relief quiet the Rams for the remainder of the game.
p. Both teams began scoring early in the final contest, but VCU took a 7-2 advantage in the third. The Tribe rallied in the sixth to push across five runs and tie up the match, as the Tribe registered a string of singles from Sexton, Sheridan, Jones, Maliniak and sophomore pinch hitter Ben Guez. After Juliano reached first on an error, Jones scored, and a single from sophomore shortstop Lanny Stanfield scored Maliniak. Park reached and McWhorter then registered a single to score Juliano. Senior Pat Kantakevich recorded his first loss of the season (3-1), giving up eight runs in 6.1 innings of play, while Vernon, Landry and Grieve combined in relief to shut down the Rams for the remainder.
p. Even with the losses, the College ranks first in batting average in the CAA (.325) and second in hits (470), as well as first in fielding percentage (.970). The Tribe faces the University of Richmond today at 3:30 p.m. in a non-conference game.