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March 27, 2002

Box Score

RICHMOND, Va. – VCU first baseman Danny Lopaze hit a two-run homer to ignite a five-run sixth inning as Virginia Commonwealth posted a 6-1 victory over in-state rival Virginia Wednesday afternoon at The Diamond.

The win was the seventh straight for the Rams, now 17-10 overall, and upped their record to 15-2 at home this season. VCU also earned its second triumph this spring over the Cavaliers, who fell to 15-10 on the year.

With the game tied at 1-1, Lopaze slammed his third round-tripper of the year off UVa starter Canon Hickman to put the Rams ahead by a 3-1 count, and VCU tacked on three more runs on four hits later in the sixth to put the game out of reach. Sophomore third baseman Nick Jones followed Lopaze’s blast with a walk and scored the Rams’ fourth run when Cavaliers’ third baseman Miguel Luina threw wildly to first on an infield single by senior Bryan Gillespie. Junior left fielder Rigo Orozco then doubled home Gillespie for a 5-1 VCU advantage and later crossed the plate on another Virginia miscue to close out the scoring.

Sophomores Matt Prendergast and Brian Marshall held the Cavaliers scoreless during the last five innings to seal the win. Prendergast improved to 4-2 with 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of sophomore Sean Marshall, while Brian Marshall surrendered just two hits and struck out three over the final 2 2/3 frames.

The Cavaliers took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth when senior Dan Street doubled and scored on a two-bagger off the bat of classmate Robert Word, but VCU countered in the bottom of the inning when Lopaze singled and came around on a double by Jones.

Sean Marshall allowed one run and fanned two UVa hitters before leaving with one man on and no out in the top of the fifth. Hickman (2-2), a graduate of nearby Atlee High School, gave up only a single run on five hits through the first five innings before faltering in the sixth.

Lopaze finished two-for-three with two runs scored and a pair of RBI to lead the Rams at the plate, while four other VCU players collected two hits each on the afternoon. Junior catcher Andrew Riesenfeld had three hits in four at-bats for the Cavaliers, while Street and Word both stroked a pair of doubles in the loss.

Virginia will return to home action on March 29-31 when UVa host the North Carolina Tar Heels in a three-game ACC weekend series at the UVa Baseball Stadium. The Cavaliers and Tar Heels will kick-off the series with a contest on Friday, March 29th beginning at 7:00 p.m.

— UVa —

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