CHARLESTON, S.C. - The University of Richmond Spiders baseball team dropped its season opener to the Liberty Flames on Friday afternoon, 12-0, in the first game of The Citadel Memorial Challenge.
Senior catcher Bryan Conway paced the Spiders offensively on Friday, going 2-for-4 with a double. Classmate Chris Cowell also had a double while Phil Ruzbarsky, Mike Small and Eric Flanagan all tallied singles on the afternoon.
After surrendering four runs in the top of the first, redshirt junior Bret Williams settled in nicely for the Spiders. Williams allowed just one more run over the next five innings, retiring eight-straight Liberty batters at one point. On the day, Williams (0-1) allowed five runs in six innings pitched while striking out four and allowing nine hits.
After scattering three hits through the first six innings, the Spiders mounted their first threat of the game in the bottom of the seventh. After a leadoff double from Conway and a walk to sophomore Adam Forrer, pinch hitter Eric Flanagan loaded the bases with no outs with a single to right field. Richmond was unable to push any runs across, however, as a fly out, strikeout and a groundout ended the threat.
After Liberty tacked on four runs in the top of the eighth to take a 12-0 lead, the Spiders again loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the frame. After a leadoff walk, Cowell missed a two-run home run by a foot, blasting a double off the wall in left-center field. Ruzbarsky followed, drawing a walk to load the bases. Just like the inning before, the Spiders were unable to get a run on the scoreboard, as a foul out and a double play got the Flames out of the frame unharmed.
The University of Richmond Spiders baseball team will continue play at The Citadel Memorial Challenge on Saturday when UR will play the host Bulldogs at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.