William and Mary Head Coach Frank Leoni knew scoring runs might be an issue for his team this season. But he probably never figured the Tribe would lose a series where it hit so well.
Despite out-scoring Virginia Commonwealth 20-7 in a three-game series this weekend, the Tribe (17-10, 3-3) dropped two of three to the Rams in Richmond.
The College got off to a good start Friday, lambasting the Rams 15-2 thanks, in part, to sophomore outfielder Stephen Arcure, who recorded two hits and a season-high four RBIs. Freshman third baseman Ryan Williams knocked in a pair of runs as well, while freshman outfielder Ryan Brown added a pair of RBIs and made an outstanding diving catch, before doubling a runner off second base to halt a third-inning Rams rally.
“We hit well on Friday,” Leoni said. “Balls found a way to places where people weren’t standing.”
Perhaps the most impressive performance of the day came from junior starter Logan Billbrough, who gave up two runs in a career-high eight innings. Coming off an outing where he gave up seven runs through four-and-a-third innings in his last start against Delaware, he did not allow a single hit until the sixth inning.
“Logan did a great job. He looked more like the Logan we are used to seeing,” Leoni said. “He mixed his pitches well, threw downhill and attacked the strike zone. [VCU’s field] is definitely a pitcher’s ballpark.”
But, the Tribe was unable to maintain that momentum for the remainder of the weekend, dropping a heartbreaker 6-5 in 10 innings in a back-and-forth contest Saturday. After losing an early lead, the Tribe came back in the top of the eighth, only to give up the tying run in the ninth and the winning run in the tenth.
Freshman starter Brett Koehler made a solid effort, allowing three runs over five innings, while reliable sophomore reliever Matt Davenport threw two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out three.
It was the offense that fell short, as it would again in Sunday’s series finale. Despite an outstanding five-inning effort from freshman pitcher Brett Goodloe, the Tribe lost 1-0 in a game where they could not come up with the timely hit.
“[Saturday and Sunday] we hit the ball well, but didn’t find gaps. [VCU] did a good job of adjusting their players,” Leoni said. “We had our chances we just didn’t execute as well as we did on Friday.”
Despite the loss, junior second baseman Jonathan Slattery hit a second-inning double to right-centerfield to extend his hitting streak to 14 games.