RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The VCU Rams are close to clinching the baseball program’s first Atlantic 10 regular season title, currently holding onto first place by a game and a half ahead of this weekend’s opponent St. Louis.
VCU’s staff knows they’re close because of their closer, JUCO transfer Sam Donko who leads the nation in saves (16).
Donko, a redshirt junior, pitches to contact and puts his success in the hands of his defense.
He’s not a ninth inning closer either, head coach Shawn Stiffler has enough faith in Donko that he can come in, and has multiple times this season, during the eighth or seventh inning needing six or even nine innings to register a save.
Because of his work-horse mentality and care-free nature in the bullpen and dugout, his teammates have taken to saying, “Get in the Truck” whenever Donko enters the ballgame.
Donko isn’t sure how or why it came about, but he embraces it as does his head coach.
As Stiffler says, “If we’re going to lose a game, we’re going to lose it with Sam Donko out there because he’s our best guy.”