WILMINGTON, North Carolina – VCU's JoJo Howie tossed a complete game in the night cap and the Rams plated eight runs in the top of the ninth in the opener to sweep UNCW, 14-8 and 4-2, on Sunday at Brooks Field.
The Rams, who had their seven-game winning streak snapped on Saturday in a 4-2 loss, rebounded to raise their record to 12-2. The Seahawks, meanwhile, dropped to 6-8 with the twinbill sweep.
Howie (2-0) struck out a career-high nine batters and allowed two runs on nine hits and three walks in picking up the win. Reliever Michael Carpenter (1-0) was the recipient of the ninth-inning outburst to earn his first win of the season.
Christian MacDonald (0-1) suffered the loss in the opener, allowing four runs, three earned, over two-plus innings of relief. In game two, Ryan Foster (0-1) was the hard-luck loser after allowing four unearned runs over 6.2 innings.
How it happened (Game 1): Leading 8-6 in the ninth, MacDonald opened the frame with a walk, hit batter and the committed an error on a sac bunt. William Prince came on in relief and was greeted by Joey Cujas with a two-run double to left that ignited the outburst. Bill Cullen added a two-run homer later in the inning as 13 batters made their way to the plate.
How it happened (Game 2): VCU plated a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth to break a 11-all deadlock. In the fifth, VCU landed its leadoff hitter on safely following a UNCW error. That runner would come around to break the tie on a single off the bat of Nick Octavi, who finished with two hits. It was another error in the sixth, this time with two out that spurred VCU. Logan Farrar plated the first run for a 3-1 lead with a single and Trevor Marino laid down a squeeze bunt one batter later to make it 4-1.
Notes: It was the first series loss to VCU for UNCW since 2006 in Richmond and the first since 2002 at Brooks Field … The loss in the opener halted a seven-game winning streak against VCU … Corey Dick extended his hitting streak to 10 games while Terence Connelly and Dick pushed their on base streaks to 10 games each … for UNCW's Ryan Foster, he went a career-long 6.2 innings … Teddy Cillis connected on his first career homer for UNCW in the opener, a three-run shot in the fourth … Luke Dunlap went 5-for7 on the afternoon and raised his average to .250 after entering the day at .050.
Up next: The Seahawks continue their seven-game homestand on Nov. 12 against UNC Greensboro. First-pitch is slated for 4 p.m.
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