CLINTON, S.C. – The Presbyterian College baseball team (24-25) put the go-ahead run on second base with two outs in the ninth but VCU (34-16) got a fly out to end the game for the 3-2 victory on Friday afternoon at the PC Baseball Complex in Clinton, S.C. The same two teams will play tomorrow at 3 p.m., as PC honors its 10 seniors prior to the game.
Cletis Avery and TJ Richardson hit back-to-back solo home runs in the fourth to account for PC’s runs. It was the second time this season that PC hit back-to-back home runs with the other coming on February 27 against Towson, as Peter Johnson and AJ Priaulx went back-to-back. For Richardson, the home run was the first of his career in just his third at-bat of the season. The long ball was Avery’s fifth of the year.
Richardson was 2-for-4 at the plate with the run and the RBI, while Tyler Weyenberg had a two-hit day and drew a walk to reach base three times. He also stole his 13th base of the season, tying the PC Division I record for stolen bases in a season. Jacob Midkiff also had one of Presbyterian’s six hits in the game.
VCU starter Michael Dailey (5-0) remained unbeaten on the year, tossing 6.0 innings and allowing two runs on four hits with three walks against six strikeouts. PC starter Brian Kehner suffered the loss, allowing three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts against a lone walk in 5.0 innings pitched. Sam Donko earned his 18th save of the year with 1.1 innings of relief work, allowing one hit and a walk. Russell Thompson and Aaron Lesiak each pitched 2.0 scoreless innings in relief.
The Rams got on the board in the top of the first. Haiden Lamb led off the game with a single to center and stole second two batters later to put a runner in scoring position with one out. After a groundout to short moved him to third, Matt Davis drove him in on a bunt single on a squeeze play to give VCU a 1-0 lead.
VCU added a run in the third to extend the lead. Lamb once again led off the inning with a single up the middle, before a hit-by-pitch put runners on first and second with no outs. Two batters later, Davis got his second RBI single of the game to make it 2-0 and put runners on first and second with one out. After a lineout for the second out, James Bunn singled to load the bases but Kehner answered by snaring a line drive up the middle to end the inning.
PC tied the game with two solo home runs in the fourth. Avery homered to left on an 0-1 count for his third long ball at home this season. Richardson then hit the first of his career on the very next pitch to make it a 2-2 ballgame.
VCU pulled back ahead in the fifth. A one-out single by Darian Carpenter followed by a double by Davis put runners at second and third. After a fly out for the second out, Bunn walked to load the bases. Following the walk, the PC catcher, believing time had been granted, went to talk to the pitcher. However, time had not been granted by the umpire and the runner from third scored to give the Rams the lead. Kehner would get a strikeout to end the inning and strand the two runners.
PC put a runner aboard in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings but was unable to scratch a run across. Its best opportunity came late in the ninth inning. With two outs, Nick Wise had a 10-pitch, pinch-hit at-bat to draw a walk and bring the go-ahead run to the plate. Weyenberg followed with a double inside the bag at third to put runners on second and third, trailing by a run. After a meeting on the mound, Donko recovered to get a fly out to right to clinch his 18th save and give VCU the 3-2 victory.
Davis led the way for the Rams, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs, while Lamb was 2-for-5 with two runs. Carpenter added a hit and the game-winning run, while Bunn rounded out the offense with a hit.