UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. - The University of Richmond Spiders baseball team will play host to the Fordham Rams this week in the final regular season Atlantic-10 series of the year. The series gets underway on Thursday at Pitt Field with first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m. Live video broadcasts and live stats for all three games can be found at RichmondSpiders.com.
Scouting the Spiders
The Richmond Spiders return to Pitt Field this weekend after spending the last eight games on the road. This past weekend, the Spiders helped keep their A-10 Tournament hopes alive, taking two of three from Rhode Island in Kingston. Entering this week's series, Richmond is 24-24 overall and 11-10 in conference play.
Led by seniors Phil Ruzbarsky and Chris Cowell, the Spiders have boasted one of the nation's most powerful offenses all season long. Ruzbarsky leads Richmond with a .347 batting average to go with 36 RBIs, while Cowell leads the Atlantic 10 with 18 home runs and is second in the league with 51 runs batted in.
The pitching staff has been playing some of its best baseball down the stretch for the Spiders, lowering its team ERA to 4.98. Junior Jacob Mayers (6-3) has struck out 82 batters in 83.1 innings, while freshman Zak Sterling (5-1) leads the team with a 2.95 ERA. Sophomore Andrew Brockett has recorded four saves out of the bullpen for the team.
Scouting the Rams
The Fordham Rams come to Richmond this week with an overall record of 22-31 on the season and a 12-9 mark in A-10 conference play. Last weekend, Fordham split a two-game series at Boston College. Prior to that, the Rams took two of three at home against Rhode Island.
The balanced Fordham offense has been spearheaded by senior Ryan Maghini and junior Mike Mauri this season. Mauri is hitting a team-best .332 on the season with 32 RBIs and two home runs. Maghini has also had a great year, hitting at a .315 clip with five homers and 12 doubles. As a team, Fordham is hitting .252 on the season.
Pitching has also been solid for the Rams in 2012, with the staff posting a team ERA of 5.03. Junior closer Jeremy Adel has six saves to go with a team-low ERA of 1.69. Junior Joseph Charest (5-8) has pitched 94 innings - second most in the A-10 - while sophomore Chris Pike has struck out 56 batters in 73.1 innings pitched.
In the recent history between Richmond and Fordham, the Rams have held the advantage. Since the 2006 season, Fordham has won three of the four series between the two squads, posting a record of 10-4.
Senior Day on
The Richmond Spiders baseball team will honor its eight graduates of the Class of 2012 on Saturday before the game. The eight Spiders playing their final game at Pitt Field will be Bryan Conway, Chris Cowell, Alex Maffett, Ryan Mallory, Robby Massar, Adam McConnell, Phil Ruzbarsky, and Matt Zink. The ceremony will begin at 12 Noon before first pitch.
With just one conference weekend left, the Spiders are tied for sixth place in the Atlantic 10 at 11-10 with both Xavier and Massachusetts. Richmond does not have the tiebreaker with either the Musketeers or the Minutemen, so the team will need to win at least two games against Fordham this weekend and get some help to finish in the top-six and earn a bid to the conference tournament.
Cowell Powers His Way
Up the Record Book
With two home runs against Rhode Island this past Sunday, senior Chris Cowell now leads the Atlantic 10 with 18 homers on the season. His 18 tie him for fifth on the Richmond single-season list, while his 43 career long balls ranks fourth all-time in school history.
Richmond Wins Three
of Four A-10 Road Series in 2012
With its series-win on the road at Rhode Island this weekend, the Rams achieved an impressive feat - winning three of their four Atlantic 10 road series this season. On the year, the Spiders took two of three games on the road against La Salle, Temple, and Rhode Island, with the only series lost on the road coming at UMass. In A-10 play, the Spiders posted a 7-5 record on the road. The three conference road series win are the most for Richmond since the team won four during the 2007 campaign.