May 21, 2011
CAMDEN, N.J. - Saint Joseph's broke a 4-4 tie in the seventh inning and scored the game's final six runs en route to a 10-4 win over Richmond in the rubber-match of the team's final A-10 series of the regular season. Senior Billy Barber had three hits for the Spiders.
Although droppping the regular-season finale, Richmond has clinched a spot in the six-team A-10 Tournament that begins Wednesday at Campbell's Field in Camden, N.J. The conference office will announce the official bracket on Sunday afternoon, but all indications are the Spiders are the fifth-seed and will play fourth-seeded Xavier Wednesday afternoon at 12 p.m.
Richmond ends the regular-season at 26-25-2 overall, 13-11 in the A-10 and is in a three-way for sixth place with La Salle and St. Bonaventure. SJU finishes at 21-31, 11-13.
For the third time in the series, the Spiders scored first as Barber tripled in the second innings and was brought home two batters later on Bryan Conway's double.
Starter Matt Trent rolled a double play to get out of the first inning and set Eddie Palmer down looking to escape a first-and-third jam in the second. But the Hawks took advantage of a Richmond error and scored three times in the third and twice more in the fourth to seize a 4-1 lead.
Richmond answered back in the sixth and took advantage of a pair of Hawk errors to score twice thanks to a fielder's choice from Jacob Mayers and a bases-loaded walk from Conway. In the seventh, Barber's single up the middle scored Mike Mergentahler for the tie.
The Hawks, though had one more rally and scored six times over the final three innings thanks in part to Palmer, who ripped an RBI single to center in the seventh and followed in the eighth with a two-run single to center.
Trent gave the Spiders his longest outing of the season, but was charged with five hits and six runs (three earned) over 6.1 innings and was dealt the loss (1-4). SJU reliever Bryan Penalo fired 1.2 innings in relief of starter A.J. Holland and earned the win (1-1).
Of Saint Joseph's 11 hits, 10 were singles.