See, this is exactly why the Pittsburgh Pirates brought in VCU alum Brandon Inge (stats), because he can play third, second, first, right field and left wing. But seriously, Inge may not be an All-Star, but he’s a veteran presence in the clubhouse a young team like Pittsburgh, which is trying to break an MLB-record string of 20 straight losing seasons, desperately needs. Pittsburgh is currently 11 games over .500 and in second place in the NL Central Division. The difference, as always, is the VCU blood, obviously.
May 24, 2013
May 16, 2013
VCU Baseball hosts Richmond at The Diamond for a three-game set to close the regular season. The series starts Thursday at 6 p.m., followed by an 11 a.m. contest on Friday and a 10:30 a.m. tilt on Saturday. The Rams (25-26) still have a mathematical shot at playing in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, so there’s more than just city bragging rights at stake.
May 9, 2013
RICHMOND, Va. – The son of two part-time actors, VCU sophomore Heath Dwyer appears to have inherited a flair for the dramatic.
Dwyer, who nearly majored in theater at VCU, has played the part of a hero of late, delivering a handful of potentially season-saving performances. In his last three starts, the left-handed pitcher has thrown three complete games and is 2-1 with a 1.73 ERA.
He should’ve taken a bow after his last effort. On May 4 against first-place Saint Louis, Dwyer outdueled Alex Alemann, one of the Atlantic 10’s top pitchers, spinning a five-hit, 10-strikeout, complete-game shutout. The win helped the Rams take two of three from the Billikens and kept VCU’s A-10 Tournament hopes alive. Gutty and important as Dwyer’s gem was to VCU, especially for a sophomore, it did not catch Rams’ Coach Shawn Stiffler by surprise.
“I’ve never looked up and thought, this occasion is too big for him,” Stiffler said. “[He has] a maturity level of, you can drop him in New York with a quarter, and he can get home.”
May 7, 2013
RICHMOND, Va. – There’s no mystery about what the next two weeks mean to the VCU Baseball team. The Rams’ season boils down to six final Atlantic 10 Conference games, of which VCU will have to win the majority of to keep its season alive.
Seven teams will qualify for the A-10 Tournament May 22-25 in Charlotte. VCU (23-23, 8-10 A-10) is currently 10th, three games out of a conference tournament berth.
“Obviously, we understand completely what we’ve got to do,” said VCU Coach Shawn Stiffler. “The funny thing is that it’s not that far off of what we did last year. The only difference is…there’s a lot more teams in the league.”
In 2012, VCU started 7-12 in CAA play, but finished by winning seven of its final 10 conference games to capture that league’s No. 5 seed. The Rams eventually advanced within a game of the CAA Championship round.
If the Rams want to repeat that performance, now is the time to do it. The good news for VCU is that it will face two teams directly above the Rams in the A-10 standings. The Rams will travel to George Washington for three games May 10-12. The Colonials are 10-8 in the league and in eighth place. VCU will conclude the regular season at The Diamond May 16-18 with three games against rival Richmond. The Spiders are 11-7 in the A-10 and are tied with Saint Joseph’s and Xavier for one of the three final conference tournament slots.
The Rams know their backs are against the wall, but they’re not getting ahead of themselves. They can’t win six games at once.
May 2, 2013
From 2009-2012, Seth Cutler-Voltz was a rock for VCU’s pitching staff, throwing 338 1/3 innings in 73 appearances. He threw at least 84 innings in each of his final three years, including 2010, when he finished 8-4 with a 3.47 ERA in 119 1/3 innings. But this year, Cutler-Voltz is seeing baseball from a different perspective. In this piece, Scott Wyant tells us about Cutler-Voltz’s transition to coaching.
April 25, 2013
RICHMOND, Va. – Ryan Farrar needed some time to think. His professional baseball dream was dangling in front of him like a carrot on a string, and he had a potentially life-changing decision to make. He walked out of his parents’ kitchen and onto the front porch and buried his head in his hands.
The Pittsburgh Pirates had called in 11th round of last year’s amateur draft and made the VCU left-handed pitcher an offer. It wasn’t run-out-and-get-a-Rolls money. It wasn’t even what Farrar had mentally set as his minimum requirement, but it was a chance to play baseball for a living. On the other hand, Farrar still had one year of eligibility remaining, another year of college, another year to polish his skills.
A lot of players would spring out of their cleats for a shot at pro ball. But Farrar was waging an inner war.
“It was awful,” he says. “I just sat on my front porch by myself. I didn’t want to be around anyone, and I was pulling my hair out of my head and thinking, ‘How can I turn down this kind of money to go play baseball?’”
Farrar looked his boyhood dream in the eyes and said, “No thanks.”
He told the Pirates it was about the money, but Farrar says that was a convenient excuse, his “out pitch”, if you will.
April 24, 2013
Last night, following the first Key Dog Strikeout Cancer Classic (won 5-4 by VCU), both VCU and Old Dominion had their heads shaved to raise cancer awareness:
P.S.: Check out the sweet breakdancing moves by VCU junior infielder Tom Crimi at the end.
April 24, 2013
Great night for the Rams, who earned a 5-4 win over Old Dominion in the first Key Dog Strikeout Cancer Classic. The Rams scored five runs, matching the number worn by late Coach Paul Keyes, for whom last night’s game was played.
April 23, 2013
Tuesday at War Memorial Stadium in Hampton, VCU and Old Dominion will wage a battle against cancer. The Rams and Monarchs will play at 7 p.m. in the first Key Dog Strikeout Cancer Classic, named for late VCU Baseball Coach Paul Keyes, who passed away in November after a battle with cancer. Proceeds will be donated to Keyes’ family.
Afterwards, both teams will be shaving their heads at home plate to raise cancer awareness.