Men’s Baseball: Tribe overpowers Rams

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April 22, 2008

2:01 AM

**TRIBE 13, VCU 7**

Talk about home field advantage.

In its second-to-last CAA weekend series at Plumeri Park, the Tribe continued its strong play, sweeping the Rams of Virginia Commonwealth University and running its conference home record to 11-1. The second-largest crowd in the park’s 10-year history — 829 people — streamed in to catch the College in action Saturday as a part of Circle K International’s “Strike Out ALS!” fundraiser.

In game three of the series, the Tribe pounded out 13 runs on 18 hits to earn a 13-7 victory and secure the sweep. Senior designated hitter Paul Juliano, senior leftfielder Greg Maliniak, junior first baseman Mike Sheridan and senior catcher Tim Park each had three hits, while junior centerfielder Ben Guez extended his hitting streak to 31 games with an eighth-inning single.

Junior pitcher Jeremy Neustifter picked up the victory for the Tribe, pitching six and one-third innings, allowing six runs on nine hits. Seniors Sean Grieve and Pat Kantakevich pitched the final two and two-thirds innings in relief to put the game in the books.

**TRIBE 8, VCU 6**

Following an 8-4 victory Friday night, the Tribe defeated VCU 8-6 Saturday. The game was the second of a three-game series and the first of Saturday’s doubleheader.

Sophomore pitcher Kevin Landry, starting his second game of the season, took the hill for the Tribe and had another strong outing to record his second win of the season, surrendering only one run on five hits in five innings while striking out three.

Meanwhile, Sheridan led the offensive attack, going 3 for 3 with two singles, a double and two RBIs. His teammates also got into the act as Park added a home run and three RBIs. Junior second baseman James Williamson drove in two runs on a single in the bottom of the fifth inning.

“I stayed on the ball and drove it the opposite way against the lefty,” Sheridan said. “With guys like Park, Maliniak and [junior Robbie] Nickle behind me, all I have to do is get on base and I’ll score.”

In the top of the sixth inning, sophomore pitcher Tyler Truxell relieved Landry and pitched well in the sixth, but ran into trouble in the seventh, giving up back-to-back home runs to VCU’s Jared Bolden and R.J. Schenk. Kantakevich relieved Truxell to record the final three outs and seal the victory for the Tribe.

With the victories this weekend, the Tribe improved to 29-11 overall and 13-7 in the CAA, moving into third place in the conference one month before the CAA tournament begins in Wilmington, N.C. The top six teams will qualify. The Tribe has not made the playoffs since the 2004 season.

The College travels to Charlottesville tomorrow for a game against in-state foe University of Virginia at 6 p.m.

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