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VCU Edges Liberty, 4-2, in 10 innings
The visiting VCU Rams plated two runs in the 10th inning to defeat the Liberty Flames, 4-2, Tuesday evening in a nonconference contest at Worthington Stadium.
Despite a strong relief outing by right-hander Blake Forslund, the Flames dropped their second straight contest to fall to 23-5 on the year. VCU improves to 13-12 on the season. It is the second straight game between the two teams which went to extra innings, as Liberty defeated VCU, 8-7, in 10 innings on May 17, 2011 at Worthington Stadium.
Forslund entered the contest in the fourth and pitched 6 2/3 innings, the longest outing of his Liberty career. The right-hander held the Rams in check over the first six innings, before giving way to teammate Patrick Bankemper with one away in the 10th. Forslund allowed four hits, striking out two batters and walking three. Despite the solid relief effort, he falls to 1-1 on the season.
VCU struck for two runs off Liberty starter Kody Young in the top of the third inning. With two outs, second baseman Jordan Weymouth singled and came around to score on the first home run of the year for first baseman Joey Cujas, giving the Rams a 2-0 lead.
Liberty center fielder Andy Smith cut the Flames' deficit in half in the fourth. The junior opened the inning by lining an opposite-field home run into the left field bullpen, slicing the VCU edge to 2-1.
Liberty had a chance for more in the inning, but VCU starter Seth Cutler–Voltz pitched out of the threat. Second baseman Bryan Aanderud, who followed Smith, was hit by a pitch and advanced to third base with two outs. However, Cutler-Voltz retired the next Flame to strand the runner.
Liberty knotted the contest at 2-2 in the sixth. After first baseman Alex Close reached on a fielding error by Ram third baseman Nick Kime, right fielder Ryan Cordell doubled off the left-center field wall to plate the runner.
After three scoreless frames sent the contest to extra innings, the Rams were able to break for through with two runs in the top of the 10th. After being held scoreless for six innings by Forslund, VCU's Kime led off the frame with single and moved to second, when left fielder Paul Nice walked. Nice received extra life, when Liberty catcher Trey Wimmer dropped his foul bunt attempt earlier in the at bat.
Two batters later, Weymouth doubled to score Kime for a 3-2 advantage. Cujas followed with a sacrifice fly to plate another run for what proved to be the final score of 4-2.
Left fielder Ian Parmley opened the bottom of the inning with a bunt single and moved to second base on a bunt by Smith. Reliever Blake Hauser was summoned from the bullpen and retired both batters he faced to close out the VCU win.
VCU's Matt Lees moves to 2-2, with 3 1/3 innings of relief. He gave up two hits, striking out five batters and walking two. Hauser picks up his seventh save with his appearance in the 10th.
Liberty managed five hits in the contest, with Cordell and Smith notching two hits apiece for the Flames. VCU collected nine hits. Cujas led the Rams with three hits and three RBIs.
Liberty now travels to Beckley, W.Va., for a three-game series with the Marshall Thundering Herd at Linda K. Epling Stadium. The series gets underway, Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.