VCU Nips Tech
Run in the ninth gives Rams 3-2 win
May 19, 2004

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Virginia Commonwealth University center fielder Eric Latura scampered home on a two-out wild pitch in the top of the ninth inning to score what proved to be the winning run in a 3-2 victory over Virginia Tech at English Field on Tuesday night. The game marked the 16th one-run game of the season for Coach Chuck Hartman's young Tech squad - half of which have resulted in losses.

The Hokies (27-25) took the early lead, scoring a run in the first inning on an RBI-single by designated hitter Jay Musialowski (Depew, N.Y.), who also started the game on the mound for Tech. Senior catcher Jed English (Alexandria, Va.) gave Tech a 2-0 lead with a run-scoring double in the third inning.

VCU (31-20) cut the lead in half on a solo home run by left fielder Barrett Ripley in the fourth inning. The Rams tied the score on third baseman Anthony Granato's RBI-single in the fifth.

Both teams had their share of chances, leaving a combined total of 23 runners on base as proof. VCU left the bases loaded three different occasions on the way to stranding 13 men, including eight in scoring position. Seven of 10 runners Tech left on base were in scoring position.

Pitching kept both teams in the game the entire night until the Rams finally scratched for a run in the top of the ninth. A one-out single by Latura got things started and second baseman Scott Sizemore followed with another single. After Tech reliever Nicky Bowers (Stuart, Va.) struck out Granato for the second out of the inning, catcher Jeff Parrish drew a walk that loaded the bases. Latura came home after a pitch in the dirt skipped past English.

Cla Meredith, who pitched the last 2 2/3 innings in relief of starter Jon Link, got the victory for the Rams, improving to 6-3 on the season. Meredith allowed just one hit and struck out three batters. Tech right-hander Jake Chaney (Blowing Rock, N.C.) pitched 3 1/3 innings and was charged with the loss, his first decision of the season.

Latura led VCU's 12-hit attack with a 3-for-3 game, while Ripley and shortstop Matt Matheson added two hits each. Freshman first baseman Sean O'Brien (Chappaqua, N.Y.) paced Tech with a 3-for-3 outing that included two walks, two runs scored and a double. English added two hits as the Hokies finished with nine total hits.

The game marked the last home contest of the season for Tech, which is scheduled to finish the season with four road games, starting Wednesday night (7 p.m.) at East Tennessee State.