UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. - The University of Richmond Spiders baseball team used a potent offense to sweep a Saturday doubleheader at Pitt Field over the visiting Saint Peter's Peacocks. The Spiders took game one, 17-8, before defeating the Peacocks, 7-2, in a seven-inning game two. Winners of five-straight, Richmond improved its record to 5-3 on the season, while Saint Peter's fell to 1-8 on the year.
Highlighting the Spiders' effort on Saturday was senior Chris Cowell and junior Jacob Mayers. In the two games, Cowell combined to hit 5-for-9 with three home runs, seven RBIs, four runs scored and a double. Not to be outdone, Mayers went 4-for-6 at the plate combined with two home runs, seven runs driven in, four runs scored and three walks.
Starting the first game, Mayers (2-1) pitched seven innings, allowing six earned runs while striking out eight to earn the win. In game two, freshman Zak Sterling (1-0) went five strong innings, striking out five while surrendering two earned runs.
In game one, the Spiders jumped on the Peacocks quickly, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first to seize early control of the contest. The frame was highlighted by RBI hits from Cowell and senior Phil Ruzbarsky, while sophomore Adam Forrer had a two-run double.
After solo home runs from Cowell and senior Bryan Conway in the third inning, Richmond added 10 more runs to its total in the fourth through sixth frames. Doing the most damage were Cowell and Mayers, who each had a three-run home run during the stretch. Through six innings, Richmond held a 16-6 lead over the Peacocks.
The strength of the Spider offense has been the long-ball and Saturday would be no different. In its two wins over Saint Peter's, Richmond hit seven more homers, pushing its team total to 18 on the season - the most in the Atlantic 10. Cowell and Mayers lead the team with six bombs each, while Conway and Ruzbarsky are tied for third with two each after each went long on Saturday.
With a comfortable 10-run lead, the Spiders cruised to the 17-8 victory in game one. Out of the bullpen, freshman Ray Harron pitched two solid frames, allowing just one run on two hits while striking out three. Cowell finished game one going 3-for-5 with two homers and six RBIs, while Mayers drove in four while hitting 3-for-4 with a home run. Senior Adam McConnell scored four times in the first game, while also collecting a pair of hits.
In game two, Saint Peter's was the team to jump out to the early advantage, scoring a run in the second and third to claim a 2-0 lead after three innings. In the bottom of the fourth, the Spiders cut the deficit in half on a RBI infield single from Conway.
Still trailing 2-1, Richmond's offense exploded in the bottom of the fifth, scoring six run on seven hits in the inning. Zink started the scoring with a one out, RBI single that scored freshman Eric Flanagan who reached with a leadoff double. Two batters later, runners were on the corners for Mayers, who obliterated the SPC offering over the fence in center field for a three-run homer. Cowell made it back-to-back shots for the Spiders as the senior blasted a solo shot deep to left field. Three batters later after a Ruzbarsky triple and a walk to Conway, Forrer rounded out the scoring with a RBI single to right. After five full, Richmond held a 7-2 lead over Saint Peter's.
Senior Alex Maffett would relieve Sterling in the sixth and secure the win for the freshman, pitching two perfect innings, striking out one. A 7-2, seven-inning victory gave the Spiders a doubleheader sweep over Saint Peter's.
In game two, McConnell and Forrer each had two hits, while Mayers continued to drive in run after runs, tallying three more RBIs to push his season total to team-high 16.
The Richmond Spiders baseball team will conclude its three-game series with the Saint Peter's Peacocks on Sunday at Pitt Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m., with live stats and video available at RichmondSpiders.com.