UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. - The University of Richmond Spiders defeated the visiting Niagara Purple Eagles on Sunday, 6-4, at Pitt Field. With the win, the Spiders improve to 2-3 on the season, while Niagara's record drops to 2-3 on the year.
Making his collegiate debut, Richmond starter Ryan Cook pitched a solid six innings, striking out five batters while allowing just one earned run. Out of the bullpen, senior Alex Maffett tossed two innings to earn the victory, while sophomore Andrew Brockett pitched the ninth to earn his first save of the season.
Offensively, senior Bryan Conway and freshman Eric Flanagan had two hits and a RBI each, while senior Chris Cowell had a RBI double and scored two runs. Senior Phil Ruzbarsky, redshirt junior Matt Zink, and sophomore Mike Small each drove in a run.
In the first three innings, neither team was able to push a run across, as both starting pitchers were having their way on the mound. Niagara would be the first two strike, scoring one run in both the fourth and the fifth innings to take a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Spiders answered right back. With two outs, sophomore Adam Forrer started a rally with a double down the right-field line. Next up was Flanagan, who drove Forrer home with a RBI single up the middle, cutting the Niagara lead in half. With Flanagan at second after the throw to the plate, Small knocked him in with a single of his own, tying the contest at 2-2.
One inning later, Conway gave the Spiders their first lead of the day, driving home a run with a two-out single to left field. The advantage was short-lived, however, as Niagara tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the seventh.
With the score tied, Richmond broke the game open in the bottom of the seventh, scoring three runs. After a RBI single from Zink, Cowell doubled off the left-center field fence, scoring redshirt-junior Adam McConnell from second base. It was Ruzbarsky's turn to drive a run in next, dropping in a single to right, scoring Cowell.
After a scoreless eighth, the Spiders took a 6-3 lead in to the top of the ninth. Despite three hits and an error for Richmond, Brockett was able to nail down the save thanks to a pair of strikeouts while surrendering just one unearned run. With the Niagara rally thwarted, the Spiders claimed the win and the series with a 6-4 victory.
The University of Richmond Spiders baseball team will be back in action this week on Tuesday and Wednesday, as UR will play a home-and-home, midweek series with the Old Dominion Monarchs. Tuesday's game will be played in Norfolk, while Wednesday's game will be at Pitt Field. Tuesday's game will start at 3 p.m. while Wednesday's contest will begin at 2:30 p.m. in Richmond.