Vimael Machin hit a grand slam in the sixth inning to stake VCU to an 8-2 lead, and the Rams remained undefeated with an 11-6 victory over The Citadel in day two of the Charleston Crab House Shootout presented by Homewood Suites.
VCU is 7-0 and has scored 23 runs in its first two games of the tournament. The Bulldogs are 5-5 and play UNC Asheville in a doubleheader on Sunday beginning approximately 2:30.
UNC Asheville (4-5) has split its first two tournament games after downing Pittsburgh 5-4 in 10 innings in Saturday's first game. The Panthers (5-3) will play VCU on Sunday at 11 a.m.
The game was not one for the highlight video as The Citadel committed seven errors leading to five unearned runs for the Rams, walked seven batters and hit three others and left 14 runners on base. The contest lasted 3 hours, 37 minutes, just 15 minutes shy of the school record for longest nine-inning game.
Bill Cullen began the game with a home run against Bulldog starter James Reeves, his second leadoff round tripper in as many days, to help VCU jump out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the fourth.
Mason Davis scored on a balk in the third and Joe Jackson was hit by a pitch with the bases full an inning later to cut the Rams' lead in half. But VCU loaded the bases against Kevin Connell and Zach Sherrill in the fifth, and Machin cleared them with a shot over the scoreboard in left center to make it 8-2.
Tyler Buckley went the first five innings on the mound for the Rams, and The Citadel took advantage of reliever Logan Kanuik to climb back in the game in its half of the sixth.
Johnathan Stokes reached on an infield single to drive in another run, and freshman Jason Smith got his first two collegiate RBI on a line drive single to center to match the VCU four-run sixth and pull the Bulldogs within 8-6.
That would be the closest The Citadel would get as Matt Lees shut the door over the next 3 ½ innings, allowing only two hits and striking out five to earn his fourth save of the season. Buckley surrendered three hits, walked five and struck out four to earn his first win as a Ram.
Reeves was lifted with two outs in the third after giving up four hits and four runs (two earned).
Davis and Smith both stole bases for the Bulldogs, keeping the team perfect in 14 attempts this season. Davis entered the game leading the Southern Conference in that category and is now 8-for-8 on the year.