VCU Outslugs Towson 14-9
HARRISONBURG, Va. (May 24, 2012) - Brent Mikionis, Vimael Machin and Joey Cujas combined for nine hits and 11 RBIs, and Kyle Haynes pitched into the ninth inning as VCU beat Towson 14-9 in Thursday's fourth game of the Virginia 529 CAA Baseball Championship at Veterans Memorial Park.
Fifth-seeded VCU improved to 34-24 for the season and advanced to a 3:30 p.m. Friday losers' bracket game against second-seeded Hofstra. Sixth-seeded Towson finished the year with a 27-31 record. VCU had lost to UNCW, and Towson had beaten George Mason earlier Thursday.
The victorious Rams survived a five-run Towson rally in the top of the ninth after breaking the game open with seven runs of their own in the seventh and eighth innings. VCU finished with 17 hits, and each of its position starters hit safely at least once during the game.
Mikionis had a three-run home run in the second inning, a two-run single in the third and a single during a four-run VCU seventh inning; Machin singled three times and drove in three runs; and Cujas had a three-run homer and two singles.
Haynes gave up a three-run, first-inning homer but allowed only one more run before faltering in the ninth. He got two outs in the inning but left after throwing 154 pitches overall. The junior right-hander who raised his record to 4-4 gave up eight runs and nine hits while striking out six and walking three.
Towson got two hits each from Dominic Fratantuano, Zack Fisher and Pat Fitzgerald. Fratantuano homered twice and drove in four runs; Fisher had a home run and three RBIs; and Fitzgerald drove in a run.
Towson scored during its first at bat for its third straight time in the tournament, taking a 3-0 lead in the top of the first on Fratantuono's two-out home run. Zach Fisher was hit by a pitch with one out, and Brendan Butler reached on an infield single before Fratantuono connected to right field for his fourth homer of the season.
VCU tied the score in the bottom of the second on Mikionis' three-run homer. Chris Ayers doubled and Machin singled before Mikionis' cleared the left field fence for his seventh home run of the year and second during Thursday's play. He had a solo home run against UNCW earlier Thursday.
VCU took a 7-3 lead in the third inning with four runs after two were out. Machin's single drove in Taylor Buran, who had singled, to put the Rams in front. Mikionis followed with a two-run single, and he scored on Taylor Perkins' triple to right field.
Fratantuano homered along the left field line with one out in the fourth to pull Towson to within 7-4.
VCU broke the game open with four runs on five hits in the seventh inning when Chris Ayers drove in a run with a groundout, Machin had a two-run single and Perkins had an RBI single.
The Rams raised the lead to 14-4 in the eighth on Cujas' three-run homer to left field after Bill Cullen singled and Jordan Weymouth walked.
In the Towson ninth, Pat Fitzgerald drove in a run with a one-out single, Lee Winter got the Tigers to within 14-6 with a sacrifice fly; and Fisher belted a three-run homer as the first hitter after Haynes left.
Towson starter, sophomore left-hander Paul Kyle, worked 2 2/3 innings and was took the loss. He gave up six runs on seven hits and a walk while falling to 2-5 for the season.