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Spider Baseball Hosts A-10 Rival Xavier this Weekend
Courtesy: Richmond Athletics
Release: 04/05/2012
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UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. - The University of Richmond Spiders baseball team will play host to their Atlantic 10-conference rival Xavier this weekend for three games this weekend at Pitt Field.  The set gets underway on Friday with the first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m.

Fans will be able to purchase a live, SpiderTV broadcast of all three games this weekend at Pitt Field.  Live stats will also be available at RichmondSpiders.com.

Scouting the Spiders
The Richmond Spiders come in to this weekend's series with the Xavier Musketeers with an overall record of 15-11 and an Atlantic 10 conference record of 2-1.  This past weekend, Richmond opened up league play at La Salle, taking two of three from the Explorers.  This past Tuesday, the Spiders dropped a road midweek game at VMI, 4-3.

Leading the way for the Spiders offense this season has been sophomore Mike Small and senior Phil Ruzbarsky.  Small leads the team with a batting average of .392, while Ruzbarsky is hitting .359 with eight home runs and seven doubles.  Senior Chris Cowell leads the conference and is tied for the national lead with 12 homers on the year.

On the mound, junior Jacob Mayers and freshman Andrew Blum have paced the Richmond staff.  Blum has posted a record of 4-1 on the season with a team-best ERA of 3.31.  Mayers is 4-2 on the year with 42 strikeouts in 44.1 innings pitched.  Senior closer Alex Maffett has tallied a pair of saves to go with a 3.68 ERA.

Scouting the Musketeers
The Xavier Musketeers come to Richmond this weekend with an overall record of 11-17 on the season and an A-10 conference mark of 2-1.  Last weekend, the Musketeers took two of three from Charlotte at home before dropping a midweek contest to Wright State, 5-2.

Headlining the Xavier offense this season has been a pair of sophomores - Selby Chidemo and Brian Bruening.  Chidemo leads the team with a .340 batting average, while Bruening has hit a team-best two home runs and driven in 18 RBIs.  As a team, the Musketeers are hitting .263 on the year with four homers and 112 RBIs.

The pitching staff has been the strength of the Musketeer ball club in 2012, led by junior closer Seth Willoughby.  Willoughby has tallied five saves while posting a minuscule ERA of just 0.55.  Redshirt-sophomore Vinny Nittoli leads Xavier with three wins on the season, while junior Jon Richard has struck out a team-high 27 batters in 41.1 innings pitched.

The Series
In the series history between Richmond and Xavier dating back to the 2006, the Spiders hold an 8-6 record over the Musketeers.  Last season, Richmond took three of four meetings against XU, including a 5-4 win in the Atlantic 10 Tournament.


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