Box Score (PDF)
PHILADELPHIA – The La Salle baseball team took an early 3-0 lead and held on to defeat VCU, 5-4, on Saturday afternoon at Hank DeVincent Field. Sophomore Justin Korenblatt went 3-for-4 with two RBI at the plate and senior Pat Christensen tossed 2.1 scoreless innings in relief, earning his tenth save of the season.
The Blue and Gold (20-20, 13-4 A-10) jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning behind a walk and three hits. Senior Dan Klem (2-4, RBI, 2 runs) led off the inning with a four-pitch walk and advanced to third on a slicing double from Kevin Baron (1-5, run). Sophomore Kevin Conroy (2-4, RBI, run) scored Klem on a single through the right side followed by a Korenblatt single to plate Baron from third. After sophomore Mark Williams (1-3) grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, freshman Joey Ravert smacked a 1-2 pitch down the left field line to score Conroy from third to open up a 3-0 Explorer lead.
The Rams tacked on two runs in the third and one in the fourth off La Salle starting pitcher Shawn O'Neill, who evened his season record to 4-4 with the win. O'Neill threw 5.1 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits while striking out three and walking two.
Klem sparked another La Salle scoring opportunity in the fifth after leading off the inning with a single to center field. After a pair of flyouts, Korenblatt smothered a 1-1 pitch into the left center gap to score Klem all the way from first. The Explorers added another run in the sixth, when Klem singled home sophomore Ryan Welling (0-2, run), who was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning.
VCU pushed across a run in the seventh charged to sophomore Adam Cherry to cut the La Salle lead to 5-4. Christensen entered the ballgame with two runners on and two outs and extinguished the Ram rally by inducing a ground out to end the threat.
Christensen sat down VCU 1-2-3 in the eighth and walked a batter in the ninth but fanned the final hitter of the game to highlight his tenth save of the season. The senior now has 43 career saves, good for a three-way tie for sixth-most in NCAA Division I history.
VCU starting pitcher Ryan Farrar took his fifth loss of the season, being charged with five earned runs over 5.1 innings.
The Explorers and Rams will finish up the series on Sunday with a noon start time. Sophomore Shane Hollman will make the start for Blue and Gold.