RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Overcoming a three-run deficit in the game’s early innings, the VCU baseball team rallied in the fourth for five runs, taking the lead over Dayton for good as the Rams beat the Flyers 7-6 Saturday night at The Diamond to capture the 2021 Atlantic 10 Baseball Tournament championship.
With the win, VCU extends its winning streak to 21 games, a program record and longest active streak in the country, and earns the A-10’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. The Rams make their first trip to the NCAA regionals since 2015. It’s also the second conference tournament crown for VCU under head coach Shawn Stiffler.
The Rams (37-14) broke through in the fourth to grab the lead from the Flyers (24-27). Steven Carpenter’s RBI single gave VCU a 4-3 advantage. Tyler Locklear’s run on a wild pitch capped off the five-run inning and extended the Ram’s advantage to 6-3.
Carpenter tacked on an additional insurance run in the fifth with an RBI single.
Dayton chipped away at the VCU lead with runs in the bottom of the fifth and seventh, but Evan Chenier closed the door for the Rams in the ninth, picking up his sixth save of the season.
VCU’s Hunter Vay was named the tournament’s most outstanding player. The Thomas Dale High School alum hit three home runs and had nine RBIs over three tournament games.
The Rams will find out which regional they’ll play in on Monday when the full NCAA Tournament field is announced.