RICHMOND, Va. – Daniel Concepcion struck out seven in 6.2 scoreless innings, while Logan Farrar drove in two runs lifting Virginia Commonwealth to a 3-0 win over East Carolina Tuesday afternoon at The Diamond. With the win, the Rams improve to 7-1 while the Pirates drop their fourth-straight game falling to 3-5.
Concepcion (2-0) scattered three hits in his second start of the season while walking three. The right-hander retired the Pirates in order three times and allowed five runners to reach scoring position, pitching out of a bases loaded jam in the third inning. Lefty Logan Kanuik recorded his first save of the year surrendering a pair of hits with three punch-outs in 2.1 innings.
Joey Cujas staked VCU to a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning on a weak ground ball through the right side that plated Cody Acker from second base. Acker walked with one out, swiped second and with two outs strolled home on Cujas’ RBI single just out of reach between Luke Lowery and Drew Reynolds on the right side of the infield.
Tyler Bolton (0-1) suffered the loss despite allowing one run (earned) on five hits with five walks and five strikeouts. The right-hander got out of trouble in the first and third innings where the Rams had a pair of runners in scoring position with two outs. Once again VCU threatened with a runner in scoring position and two outs and finally broke the scoreless tie. Nick Durazo relieved Bolton in the seventh overcoming an opening frame error, but in the eighth was touched for a pair of runs (both earned) on three hits with no outs before being lifted for Brett Mabry, who finished off the frame collecting three quick outs.
ECU had a chance to push across some runs in the third and seventh loading the bases with two outs in each frame. But a double ground ball double play off the bat of Reynolds in the third, and a diving stab by VCU second baseman Matt Davis behind the bag off Hunter Allen’s stick, stifled both potential run-producing stanzas.
Farrar’s bases loaded single to right field gave the Rams a three-run cushion, 3-0, and capped the scoring on the day.
Travis Watkins led the Pirates offensively collecting a pair of hits, while Luke Lowery extended his current hit streak to eight games dating back to last season. Reynolds and Ian Townsend also recorded hits, while Zach Houchins saw his 10-game hit streak and 25-game streak where he reached base safely snapped.
The Pirates will return to Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium in the first of three-straight home weekends this Friday when they host the 11th Annual Keith LeClair Classic (Feb. 28-Mar. 2). ECU will face off against Western Kentucky (Feb. 28 at 5 p.m.), Pittsburgh (Mar. 1 at 3 p.m.) and Ohio State (Mar. 2 at 2 p.m.).