UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. - The University of Richmond Spiders baseball team will start a season-long eight-game road trip this Tuesday when the Spiders head to Fairfax, Va., to face the George Mason Patriots. First pitch at Spuhler Field is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Scouting the Spiders
The Richmond Spiders come in to Tuesday's midweek game with the Patriots off a weekend series that saw the Dayton Flyers take two of three from Richmond. Despite the series loss, the Spiders' overall record stands at 21-19 overall and 8-7 in Atlantic 10 conference play.
Richmond continues to boast one of the most powerful offenses in the country, ranking fourth in home runs with 50 and tenth in the nation in slugging percentage at .465. Senior Phil Ruzbarsky leads the team with a .359 batting average, while classmate Chris Cowell has hit a team-best 14 homers. Junior Jacob Mayers has also been great at the plate, driving in 42 runs while hitting .320 on the season.
Mayers, along with freshman Zak Sterling, have been the pacing Spider pitching staff. Mayers has struck out 80 batters in 77.1 innings pitched, while Sterling has posted a team-low ERA of 3.11. Senior closer Alex Maffett has tallied three saves on the season.
Scouting the Patriots
The George Mason Patriots continue to win ball games, as Mason has run its record on the season to an impressive 30-17 overall and to 15-9 in CAA conference play. This past weekend, GMU took two of three from league-rival James Madison in Harrisonburg.
George Mason has been led offensively this season by a pair of seniors - Brig Tison and Zack Helgeson. Tison leads GMU with a .357 batting average, while Helgeson leads the Patriots with 10 home runs and 17 doubles. As a team, George Mason is hitting .273 on the year with 20 homers and 235 RBIs.
The pitching staff has been the strength of the Patriots this season, posting a team ERA of 3.77. Redshirt junior closer Chris O'Grady has been nearly unhittable, recording 13 saves to go with a 0.59 ERA. Sophomore Anthony Montefusco is 4-2 on the season with 58 strikeouts in 72.1 innings pitched.
Earlier this season, George Mason overcame a six-run deficit to beat the Spiders in Richmond, 12-10. The loss on March 13 snapped the Spiders' season-long winning streak at 11 games. In the overall series between the two teams dating back to 2007, Richmond holds a 6-1-1 record over Mason, including a 2-0-1 mark in Fairfax.