UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. - The University of Richmond Spiders baseball team defeated the George Washington Colonials, 9-3, on Sunday at Pitt Field to take the weekend, Atlantic 10 conference series. With the victory, Richmond improves to 18-15 on the season overall and to 5-4 in conference play. The loss moves GW's record to 13-22 on the year and to 3-6 in league action.
Redshirt junior Matt Zink had three hits, a double, and a RBI on the afternoon, while senior Chris Cowell went 1-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored to lead the Spiders. Seniors Phil Ruzbarsky and Bryan Conway had two hits and a RBI each on the afternoon. Junior Jacob Mayers also had a good day at the plate, going 2-for-4 with three runs scored and a double.
On the mound, freshman Ryan Cook (3-1) had a nice outing for Richmond, going six innings and allowing just two runs - one earned. Cook surrendered only six hits while striking out seven. Out of the bullpen, classmate Ray Harron pitched a perfect ninth inning, striking out one.
The scoring for the Spiders started early on Sunday, as Richmond took advantage of some defensive miscues to push three runs across in the frame. With the bases loaded, Ruzbarsky plated the game's first run with a RBI groundout to second base. Two more runs then crossed the plate when the GW shortstop bounced a throw to first trying to get Conway. In the inning, the Spiders scored three runs on a hit and an error to take a quick, 3-0 lead.
After George Washington scored one in the top of the second, Richmond added to its lead with a pair of runs in the third. Cowell notched a RBI with a sacrifice fly to left field, while Mayers scored on a wild pitch, making the Richmond lead 5-1 after three complete.
The teams then traded runs in the fourth inning, with the Spiders scoring one in the bottom half on a Cowell RBI single to left, pushing the Richmond advantage to 6-2.
Still leading by four runs in the bottom of the sixth, Richmond cushioned its lead. After missing a home run by two feet, Mayers had to settle for a long double off the fence in center field. After a wild pitch moved him to third, the junior scored on a GW error. After a Ruzbarsky single, Conway plated Cowell with a single up the middle, making the lead 8-2 in favor of Richmond.
After the Colonials cut the lead to 8-3 in the top half of the eighth, Zink got the run right back for the Spiders in the bottom half, plating freshman Eric Flanagan with a double to left field.
The highlight of the game for Richmond came defensively in the top of the eighth inning. With a runner on second base and one out, GW's Jimmy Best - who already homered earlier - send a long, fly ball to center field. Timing it perfectly, Richmond's Zink scaled the wall in center and took away a home run with a fantastic catch.
George Washington was unable to mount a comeback in the ninth inning as Harron sat the Colonials down in order, securing the 9-3, series-clinching win for Richmond.
The Richmond Spiders baseball team will hit the road this Tuesday when they head to Charlottesville to face the No. 23-ranked Virginia Cavaliers. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.