HARRISONBURG, Va. (May 25, 2012) - Sophomore outfielder Kenny Jackson went 3-for-5 and drove in three runs to lead second-seeded Hofstra past #5 VCU 4-2 on Friday afternoon at the Virginia 529 CAA Baseball Championship at Veterans Memorial Park.
The Pride (34-21) will face #3 Delaware at 7:15 p.m. tonight with the winner advancing to Saturday's championship game against top-seeded UNCW. VCU's season came to an end with a 34-25 mark.
Along with Jackson, Hofstra second baseman Matt Ford was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and designated hitter T.J. Thomas was 2-for-4. For VCU, designated hitter Chris Ayers was 3-for-4, while Jordan Weymouth, Joey Cujas and Taylor Buran each had a pair of hits.
Freshman starter Nick Kozlowski (2-0) earned the win for the Pride after allowing just one run on seven hits over the first five innings. Andrew Barbarino picked up his third save after closing the game with two shutout innings.
Kyle Pelchy (4-4) suffered the loss for VCU after giving up eight hits and three runs (one earned) over four innings. Rams closer Blake Hauser kept the Rams close with 3.2 shutout innings in relief.
Hofstra took a 2-0 lead in the first with a pair of unearned runs. Leadoff hitter Danny Poma, who became just the 7th player in CAA history to record 100 hits in a season, reached on a fielding error and Ford had a one-out single. After advancing on a double steal, Poma scored on a groundout while Ford came across on Jackson's RBI single.
The Pride tacked on solo runs in the third and fifth. In the third, Jared Hammer singled to left, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on a Jackson single to center. In the fifth, Ford drew a leadoff walk and later scored on Jackson's third RBI single of the afternoon to make it 4-1.
VCU loaded the bases in three of the first five innings, but only turned it into one run. Buran started the fourth with a single, advanced to third on a single and a walk, and scored on Nick Abrahamson's sacrifice fly to center.
The Rams cut the gap to 4-2 in bottom of the sixth when junior first baseman Brent Mikionis launched his third home run of the tournament to left field.