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Baseball Drops Weekend Finale to VCU, 7-6
Scarlet Knights unable to hold early lead
  • Posted on March 16, 2014 3:31:45 PM
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  • Brian O'Grady went 4-for-4 with a walk in five plate appearances.
    Will Schneekloth
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    Win-Lees (3-1) • Loss-Young (0-3) • Save-None • T-3:36 • A-233 • The Diamond


    RICHMOND, Va. (March 16, 2014) – Including two in the bottom of the ninth, host VCU rallied for five unanswered runs from the seventh inning to defeat Rutgers baseball, 7-6, in the finale of the PK5 Classic Sunday at The Diamond. Senior Brian O’Grady (Warminster, Pa.) led the Scarlet Knights with two doubles, two singles and a walk in five plate appearances, making it his fourth game this season with four hits.

    Junior Joe D’Annunzio (Scotch Plains, N.J.) also had a multiple-hit game with a pair of singles to help RU (7-9) reach double-digit hits for the ninth time this season. Classmate Vinny Zarrillo (Forked River, N.J.) extended his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games with a single, as he totaled an 11-game streak last season as a sophomore.

    On the mound, freshman Ryan Fleming (Churchville, Pa.) was effective in his second career start, allowing one run over five complete innings. The left-hander left in line to win after stranding seven VCU (16-3) runners on base and striking out three. It was the eighth-straight weekend game started by a freshman for Rutgers.

    RU scored in the first inning for the seventh time this season to go up 2-0. Zarrillo worked a walk to start the game and advanced to third when D’Annunzio hit a grounder that went through the shortstop for an error. O’Grady next stepped up and launched a first-pitch fastball off the wall in right field for an RBI double. Following a strikeout, sophomore John Jennings (Berkeley Heights, N.J.) earned an RBI by grounding a ball up the middle to plate D’Annunzio, unearned.

    The lead doubled to 4-0 in the second after Rutgers rallied with two outs and no one on. Sophomore R.J. Devish (Beachwood, N.J.) was hit by a breaking ball to reach first and Zarrillo followed with a single on a check swing into left-center. After Zarrillo moved to second on a wild pitch, D’Annunzio rocketed a two-run single to left to plate a pair.

    VCU responded with a run in the third, but freshman Tom Marcinczyk (Middlesex, N.J.) prevented further damage by throwing out a runner at the plate on a single to right field. A similar situation arose in the fifth, as Marcinczyk picked up his second outfield assist of the day on a strike to home to end the inning.

    RU extended its lead to 5-1 in the top of the sixth on a two-out RBI single by Devish. Marcinczyk led off the inning with a single to center and moved up on a groundout to get into scoring position.

    The Rams threatened again in the sixth by loading the bases with one out, scoring a run to make it 5-2. Redshirt freshman Max Herrmann (Rutherford, N.J.) then entered from the bullpen and put out the fire with a groundball to second.

    The Scarlet Knights got that run back right away in the seventh when freshman Christian Campbell (Sayreville, N.J.) lifted a sacrifice fly as pinch hitter to drive in O’Grady, who reached base with his fourth hit of the game.

    That would be all the scoring for RU, with VCU using three hits and two walks in the seventh to score three to cut it to 6-5. The game entered the bottom of the ninth that way, as the Rams started their winning rally with an error, single and a bunt single to load the bases. Rutgers was next able to turn a double play up the middle to get two outs with the tying runs scoring. Landon Prentiss nearly fouled out, but connected for a walk-off single up the middle to give the home team the win going away.

    Matt Lees (3-1) picked up the victory for VCU, while junior Jon Young (Old Bridge, N.J.) (0-3) took the loss.

    The Scarlet Knights will continue their spring break trip with a midweek game at No. 3 Virginia Tuesday at 4 p.m.

    Follow Rutgers Athletics on Facebook and Twitter (@RUAthletics) for all of the latest news and updates. For specific updates regarding baseball, follow the program on Twitter @baseballRU and Tumblr.

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