VCU first baseman Tim St. Clair hit a two-run home run in the 10th to lead the Rams past the Liberty Flames, 4-2, Wednesday afternoon in the Flames' home opener at Worthington Stadium.
Liberty jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning. With one out, P.K. Keller (So., CF, St. Petersburg, Fla.) double to the right center field gap for the Flames' first hit of the afternoon. After moving to third base on a passed ball, he would score on a sacrifice fly by David Giammaresi (r-So., DH, Coral Springs, Fla.).
VCU knotted the score at 1-1 in the seventh inning, plating a run with two outs. Jared Bolden singled up the middle, advanced to second on single by Barrett Ripley and scored on a RBI single by Brad Stephenson.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Flames went on top, 2-1. Pinch hitter Abe Yeakel (Jr., C, Kutztown, Pa.) singled to center field and advanced to second base on single by Errol Hollinger (Fr., C, Upland, Calif.). After a pitching change, Patrick Gaillard (Jr., SS, Taylors, S.C.) flied out to right field on which Yeakel tagged to advance to third base and came around to score when the Ram's right fielder dropped the ball for an error.
In the top of the ninth, VCU would rally to send the game to extra innings with two outs. Stephenson singled and was replaced by pinch runner Chris Jackson. Justin Wright then singled to move Jackson to second base. Jackson then attempted to steal third base and scored on an overthrow of the base by the Liberty catcher to tie the game at 2-2.
The Rams then took the lead in the 10th inning. Sergio Miranda opened the inning with a double and after an out, scored in front of St. Clair's home run, his first of the season, for a 4-2 advantage.
The Flames threatened in the bottom of the inning getting two men on, but could not push a run across.
Liberty starter Michael Solbach (r-So., RHP, Woodbridge, Va.) went seven innings, allowing one run on six hits, striking out seven and walking none. Phillip Thompson (Sr., RHP, Ringgold, Va.) followed in relief of Solbach and picked up his first loss of the season. The reliever pitched three innings of relief allowing three runs, two earned on four hit and striking out two. VCU right hander Jared Bolden picked up the win in relief allowing no runs on one hit in 1 2/3 innings, striking out three and walking one.
The loss evens the Flames record at 2-2 on the young season, while the Rams move to 2-0.
Liberty is back in action again tomorrow afternoon as they host Longwood at Worthington Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.