Williamsburg, Va. - The William and Mary Tribe baseball team opened up its series with CAA-rival VCU on Friday night in winning fashion, beating the Rams, 4-2, at Plumeri Park in Williamsburg. With the win, the College improves to 20-20 on the season and to 10-9 in CAA play. With the loss, VCU falls to 15-21 on the year overall and to 7-9 in conference action.
In just his second start of the season, junior Jay McCarthy had nice outing for the Tribe, pitching six strong innings. McCarthy struck out seven batters, allowing just one run. Sophomore closer Brett Koehler got the final six outs for the College, striking out three to earn his seventh save of the season.
The Tribe was led at the plate on Friday night by its first three batters in the lineup - freshman Ryan Lindemuth , senior Derrick Osteen , and junior Tadd Bower . Combined the trio went seven-for-12 on the day with three runs scored and two RBIs. Senior Jonathan Slattery and junior Stephen Arcure each had a hits and a RBI on the night for the Green and Gold.
After leaving runners on in the first and second innings, the Tribe was able to breakthrough in the third and take the early lead. Lindemuth started the frame with a sharply hit single through the left side and was joined on base by Osteen who singled to center field. After VCU wild pitch, the runners moved in to scoring position at second and third for Bower. On a full count offering, Bower flied to left field. Camped out underneath the ball, the Rams' left fielder dropped the ball amidst the falling rain. Lindemuth, who was running all the way on the fly ball, scored easily while Bower moved up to second base.
With runners on second and third, Slattery was able to plate another run, grounding out to first, making the score 2-0 in favor of the Tribe. With Bower now on third, Arcure blasted the first pitch he saw to deep right field. Unable to get camped underneath the line drive, the ball ricocheted off the VCU right fielder's glove for a double, scoring Bower. Trying stretch the play in to a triple, however, Arcure was called out on third on a nice throw. After three complete innings, the Tribe led the Rams, 3-0.
After VCU pushed across a run in the top of the sixth, the score was 3-1 for William and Mary headed to the eighth. In the top of the frame, the first two batters reached base to chase Matt Davenport from the game. Out of the pen came Koehler, who after allowing a run scoring double, buckled down to get the Tribe out of the jam. With runners on second and third with no outs, Koehler struck out the next two batters before inducing an inning-ending fly out to center field.
In the Tribe's half of the eighth, the College added an insurance run to its lead. With one out, sophomore Derek Lowe reached on a throwing error from the VCU third baseman. After a sacrifice bunt and a stolen base, Lowe was on third for Lindemuth. On a 1-2 count, Lindemuth singled up the middle, making the Tribe's lead 4-2 headed to the ninth inning.
In the top of the ninth, Koehler struck out the first batter before allowing a single through the right side. The runner would never get a chance at scoring, as Koehler shut the door on any potential VCU rally, inducing a groundout and a popout to secure the 4-2 series-opening win for the Tribe.
With his seventh save of the season, Koehler now sits in a tie for fifth place with former Tribe great Chris Ray on the College's single-season save list. Koehler is now just three saves shy of the school record held by Pat Kantakevich, who totaled 10 saves in 2008. On the all-time list, Koehler is now ranked in a tie for eighth place.
The William and Mary Tribe baseball team will continue its three-game series with the VCU Rams on Saturday, April 23. First pitch at Plumeri Park is scheduled for 4 p.m.