Big Eighth Inning Sends Top-Seeded VCU to Championship Game
ST. LOUIS — Top-seeded VCU used a big eighth inning to rally past No. 6 Davidson in the 2017 Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship semifinals Friday afternoon at Billiken Sports Center. The Rams will make to their third A-10 final appearance in the last four years.
VCU (35-20) entered the eighth trailing 3-1, but a series of singles and a sac bunt put the Rams within one, and an RBI single by A-10 Player of the Year Logan Farrar tied the game when Zac Ching scored. From there and error and a ground out allowed VCU to push two more runs across for the five-run inning. For the day, Farrar was 4-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored, including the eighth-inning game-tying hit.
The big eighth negated a Davidson (29-24) performance than began with a two-run home run by Alec Acosta in the bottom of the first inning, and morphed into a defensive stand that kept VCU to just one runs across the first seven innings. Acosta's round-tripper, which scored Cam Johnson, was his third of the championship, but just the fourth of his career.
VCU cut the lead in half in the second inning on a Farrar RBI single that scored Ching, but Davidson pushed the lead back to three on a Max Bazin rocket down the left field line that rolled to the warning track and drove in Brett Centracchio in the seventh.
Sean Thompson allowed just one hit, but that was Acostas two-run shot, and Davidson chased the VCU starter from the game after four 1/3 innings, despite his throwing five strikeouts. Benjamin Dum (3-1) went 2 2/3 in relief, and got the victory allowing just one run on two hits. Sam Donko then picked up his league-leading 14th save with two innings of hitless pitching. Combined the VCU pitchers held Davidson to just three hits.
Austin Leonard (1-2) took the loss for the Wildcats, allowing three runs on two hits in one inning of work. Starter Barry Allen went six innings with six hits and just one run in the no-decision.
Davidson will face the winner between No. 2 Rhode Island and No. 5 Saint Louis Friday evening at 7:00 pm, with the winner advancing to face VCU in Saturday's Championship final.