CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The University of Richmond Spiders baseball team dropped a hard-fought contest to the No. 25 Virginia Cavaliers on Tuesday night, 7-5. With the setback, Richmond's record falls to 18-16 on the season while UVA improves to 24-13-1.
Senior Chris Cowell had a three-run home run, while classmate Phil Ruzbarsky went 3-for-4 with a RBI to lead the way for Richmond on Tuesday. Redshirt junior Adam McConnell was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two stolen bases and freshman Joey Vecchione had a RBI single for the Spiders.
On the mound, sophomore Andrew Brockett took the loss for Richmond, pitching 3.2 innings while allowing two runs, one earned.
The Spiders jumped on the Cavaliers early on a beautiful Tuesday night in Charlottesville. After a fly out to start the game, UVA starter Joel Effertz walked the next two batters and was promptly pulled from the game. With runners on first and second, Cowell emptied the bases with a towering home run down the left field line. Cowell's Atlantic 10-leading 14th homer of the season gave Richmond a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the first, the Cavaliers answered right back, pushing across four unearned runs to take a 4-3 lead over the Spiders. After a scoreless second, Richmond tied the game in the top of the third. After a bunt single and stolen base from McConnell, Ruzbarsky drove him home with a single down the right-field line, tying the game at 4-4.
After Virginia reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the third on a solo home run off the bat of Mike Papi, the Spiders once again fought back to tie the game. With two outs and runners on first and second in the top of the sixth, Vecchione came to the plate for Richmond. The freshman fell behind early in the count, but battled back to run the count full, 3-2. On the full count offering, Vecchione lined a single to right, scoring Ruzbarsky from second. Vecchione's first career RBI tied the game at 5-5.
In the bottom of the seventh, Virginia was able to score a pair of runs on two bunts with runners on third.
Heading in to the top of the ninth, the Spiders trailed the Cavaliers, 7-5. Just like they had all night, Richmond fought back. With two outs, McConnell singled up the middle to bring the tying run to the plate. Junior Jacob Mayers had a nice at-bat, but went down swinging, securing the win for Virginia.
The Richmond Spiders baseball team will head to Philadelphia, Pa. this weekend for an Atlantic 10 conference series against the Temple Owls. The three-game series gets underway on Friday with the first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m.