BRONX, N.Y. – The University of Richmond Spiders baseball team defeated the Fordham Rams, 9-8, on Friday night at Houlihan Park in the Bronx, N.Y.
With the win, Richmond improves to 29-18 on the season overall and to 12-7 in Atlantic 10 conference play, while Fordham falls to 19-31 and to 5-15 in league action. The 29 regular-season victories are the most for the Spiders since they won 30 in 2007.
Senior Matt Zink hit his first two home runs of the season and drove in a pair, while junior Nick Poulos went 3-for-5 with a homer, triple and two RBI to lead the Spider offense on Friday. Senior Bret Williams also drove in two runs, while juniors Adam Forrer and J.B. Gadd each had a RBI in the win.
Redshirt freshman Jonathan de Marte pitched solidly but didn’t figure in the decision, tossing 4.2 innings and allowing just two earned runs. Out of the bullpen, redshirt sophomore Chris Bates (2-3) earned the win with his 3.1 innings of work. Junior Andrew Brockett recorded the final three outs for the Spiders, striking out a pair.
The Spiders started the game with a bang on a cool night in the Bronx, as Zink led the game off with a leadoff home run. After working to get a 3-1 count, Zink blasted a fastball over the fence in left field for his first homer of the season.
Richmond added to its lead in the top of the second inning. After a leadoff single from Williams, Poulos lined a triple to the wall in left-center field, pushing the Spider lead to 2-0 over the Rams.
Answering right back, Fordham scored one run in the third and another in the fourth to tie the game at 2-2 after four full innings.
In the top of the fifth, a two-out rally gave the lead right back to the Spiders. With two away, freshman Tanner Stanley singled to right field and then moved to third on a single off the bat of senior Jacob Mayers.
With runners on the corners, Forrer singled to shallow right field, easily scoring Stanley from third base. With two on, Williams lined a double down the left-field line scoring a pair of runs and pushing the Richmond advantage to 5-2.
Fordham came right back in the bottom of the frame, scoring two unearned runs to cut the Richmond lead to just one, 5-4.
The Spiders played a little long ball in the top of the seventh, pushing its lead back to three, 7-4. Leading off the frame, Poulos blasted his first career home run in to the stands in left field. Two batters later, Zink hit his second of the day – a no-doubter over the fence in left, pushing the Richmond lead back to three runs.
Richmond added on to its lead in the top of the eighth inning. After Poulos reached on an error, Gadd plated Small with his first career triple, a towering shot to left-center field. Gadd later score on a wild pitch, making the Spider lead 9-4.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Rams mounted a furious rally, cutting the lead to just one 9-8. With runners on the corners and two away, however, Brockett induced a game-ending fly out, clinching the victory for the Spiders.
The Richmond Spiders will continue their series with the Fordham Rams on Saturday at Houlihan Park. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.