RICHMOND, Va. - The William and Mary baseball team dropped a hard-fought, 5-4, decision at VCU Saturday afternoon in game two of its doubleheader from The Diamond. VCU rallied to score three runs in the ninth inning to win the series finale. With the loss, W&M falls to 25-18 overall and 10-11 in CAA action, while VCU improves to 22-18 on the year and 9-12 in league play.
Junior second baseman Kevin Nutter went 1-for-3 with a pair of RBIs to lead the Tribe bats. Senior left fielder Tadd Bower finished the contest going 1-for-4 with a run batted in and a run sored. Junior shortstop Ryan Williams belted two doubles and scored two runs, while sophomore third baseman Ryan Lindemuth collected a hit and an RBI. Junior center fielder Ryan Brown capped the effort, tallying a hit and a run scored.
Senior LHP Cole Shain (4-2) worked 8.0 innings, surrendering just three earned runs while striking out five. Junior closer RHP John Farrell (2-1) took the loss, as he recorded a strikeout in his 0.2 innings of action. VCU's freshman LHP Matt Lees (3-2) notched the win in his 1.0 inning of work.
W&M got on the board first as it plated a run in the top half of third. With one out, Williams smashed a double to left field and later advanced to third on senior cather Sean Aiken's groundout to second. Nutter followed with a single to right center field, which plated Williams for the Tribe's first run of game two.
In the bottom of the fifth, VCU pushed across a run to tie the score at 1-1. Sophomore center fielder Bill Cullen drove in senior left fielder Paul Nice with a double down the left field line.
The College responded in the sixth, with a trio of runs as it regained the advantage at 4-1. Williams connected on his second double of the day, this time down the left field line to lead off the frame. Aiken followed with a sacrifice bunt, which moved Williams to third. Once again, Nutter pushed across Williams with a sacrifice fly to right field, giving the Green and Gold a 2-1 lead. After Brown reached base on a throwing error by the VCU shortstop, Bower plated the Fredericksburg, Va., native with a single to left field. W&M's third run of the inning culminated on a Lindemuth single through the middle of the infield, which plated Bower as the Tribe extended the margin to 4-1.
VCU made the score 4-2 after scoring a run in the bottom half. Senior first baseman Brent Mikionis plated sophomore third baseman Joey Cujas with a single through the left side.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Black and Gold managed to get its first two batters on base with consecutive singles. With no outs and runners or first and second, Farrell relieved Shain. Farrell proceeded to retire the next two VCU batters. With two outs and two strikes, Cullen connected on a double to left center field, which tied the affair at 4-4. On an 0-2 count, junior second baseman Jordan Weymouth drove in Cullen for the game-winning run with a single to left field as the Rams walked-off with the, 5-4, win.
The College returns to action on Saturday, April 28, as it plays host to Norfolk State in a doubleheader scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at Plumeri Park. Prior to the doubleheader against the Spartans, Tribe baseball will honor the life and contributions of the late Mr. Tommy Smith with a special dedication ceremony. Fans can follow the NSU action online at TribeAthletics.com with audio and stats.