RICHMOND, Va. | Cam Mazell collected three hits and drove in a pair of runs as the Norfolk State University baseball team ended its eight-game road swing with a 13-4 loss to VCU on Tuesday night at The Diamond.
VCU (13-12) opened the scoring with a pair of runs in the third inning and extended the lead to 5-0 with three more runs in the fourth.
Norfolk State (3-19) picked up three runs in the fifth inning, closing the gap to 5-3.
With one down in the frame, Steven Shaffer walked and stole second. Jacob Council was hit by a pitch and Cam Mazell followed with an infield hit to plate Shaffer. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and Council came in when Kam Walker grounded out. Brandon Cleveland reached on an infield hit, allowing Mazell to score.
The Rams responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning and one more in the sixth to push the lead to 8-3.
VCU put the game out of reach in the seventh, highlighted by a three-run homer by Brandon Eike, extending the advantage to 13-3.
Manny Jackson opened the inning and reached on an error by the center fielder. With one down, Dominic Joseph, who pinch-ran for Jackson, moved to third on a wild pitch. After a Shaffer walk, Mazell brought plated Joseph with a double to left.
Norfolk State finished with four runs on five hits, committed three errors, and stranded five on base, VCU registered 13 runs on 12 hits, committed one error, and left 11 on base.
Antonio Velasquez started on the rubber for the Spartans, pitching two innings, with three strikeouts and one walk. Nolan Manzer (1-2) took the loss as he surrendered five runs (two earned) on three hits, walked three, and struck out one. Joe Lafave, Matt Stanley, Dalton Barham, Donovan Whitfield, and Mac Yarbrough pitched in relief.
Jake Goleski (1-0) earned the victory for VCU. He gave up three runs on three hits, fanned six, and walked two in five innings. Brian Curley, Brendan Erka, and Justin Walton saw action out of the bullpen.
Norfolk State returns home for eight straight games, starting on Friday as the Spartans begin a three-game Northeast Conference (NEC) series against Stonehill College. The first pitch against the Skyhawks is set for 3 p.m. from Marty L. Miller Baseball Field.
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