VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH SWEEPS HAWKS IN SEASON OPENING TWIN-BILL
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications
RICHMOND, VA (02/17/01) - The Virginia Commonwealth baseball team (2-3) got off to a strong start to its 2001 home schedule with a doubleheader sweep of St. Joseph's University (0-2) Saturday afternoon at The Diamond. The Rams opened the three-game series with a 16-6 win over the visiting Hawks, then pounded out 22 hits in the nightcap to earn a 15-1 decision. VCU rallied from a 5-3 deficit in the opener with three runs off St. Joseph's starter Jim Boylan in the bottom of the fourth inning. After sophomore first baseman Robbie Gragnani plated senior catcher Cory Bauswell with an RBI groundout, junior second baseman Bryan Gillespie tied the game with an RBI single up the middle and scored the go-ahead run on a two-out base hit by senior left fielder Kevin Elrod. VCU scored twice more in the fifth to go ahead 8-5, then broke the game open with a six-run sixth highlighted by two-run hits by junior shortstop Joshua Arteaga and freshman third baseman Nick Jones. Arteaga led the offense with three hits and three RBI in game one, while sophomore right fielder Jose Pabon finished three-for-five with three runs scored and a pair of RBI. Senior right hander Marc Fisher earned the victory with seven innings of work and held the Hawks (0-2) scoreless over his final four frames. Senior Kevin Kirby went three-for-five for St. Joseph's in the loss, while Tom Gibson had two hits and knocked in a pair of runs in the opener. The Rams exploded for six runs in the bottom of the first inning in game two and got a strong performance on the hill from senior Chad Baumann (Lanesville, Ind./Floyd Central), who allowed no earned runs and struck out a career-high eight batters over six innings. Gragnani led the charge with three hits and four RBI n four at-bats, while Jones and Pabon each knocked in three runs during the nightcap. The two teams will meet again tomorrow afternoon at The Diamond, with first pitch set for 1 p.m.