UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. – It’s apparent that redshirt junior Robbie Baker enjoys Spring Break.
For the second time in six days, Baker tied a career-high with seven innings of work to lead the University of Richmond baseball team to a series-opening 7-1 win over Youngstown State.
“Robbie was outstanding for us and really set the tone from the start,” Head Coach Tracy Woodson said. “It’s always good to get home and start a series with that type of performance on the mound and some early runs. A good start to the weekend for us.”
Baker stifled the Penguins all day long, allowing just three hits and racking up seven strikeouts. Youngstown State came into the day having scored over 30 runs in its past five games.
Offensively, junior Vinny Capra, sophomore Caleb Ward and freshman Justin Cook all had multi-hit performances. Capra now has multi-hit performances in six of his past seven games (hitting .484 over that span). Cook and redshirt sophomore D.J. Lee each scored two runs in the win.
“Our guys did a nice job with their at-bats today. It wasn’t the best conditions, but we had hits up and down the lineup and took advantage when they gave us some opportunities to score some extra runs,” Woodson added.
Richmond got on the scoreboard early and often with Lee reaching on a one-out double in the home half of the first. Two batters later, a YSU miscue allowed Lee to score and give the Spiders a 1-0 lead.
The Spiders would pile onto the lead in the bottom of the second. Cook started the rally with a one-out single up the middle and moved to second after Brandon Johnson drew a walk after an 11-pitch at-bat.
A single by Ward loaded the bases and Capra roped a single through the left side to plate Cook and make it a 2-0 lead. A fielder’s choice from Lee plated another run and another YSU miscue led to two more to finish off the four-run second and push Richmond’s lead to 5-0.
That’s all Baker needed as he allowed just eight baserunners, two of which were eliminated by double plays, while striking out seven and allowing just one runner past second base.
Richmond’s offense would continue to add to the lead with Cook starting another rally in the sixth with a leadoff single and came around two batters later off an RBI single from Ward.
YSU added a run in the eighth, but freshman Aaron Winkler closed out the final two frames to secure a second straight win for the Spiders.
The two teams return to action on Saturday in the second game of the three-game set. First pitch at Pitt Field is slated for 1 p.m.