May 22, 2011
UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND - Thanks to a 13-11 record in Atlantic 10 play, the Richmond baseball team has earned its sixth A-10 Tournament berth in 10 years in the league. The Spiders own the fifth-seed and face fourth-seeded Xavier as the championship commences Wednesday at 12 p.m. at Campbell's Field in Camden, N.J. with an NCAA Regional bid on the line.
Fourth-year head coach Mark McQueen, who has improved the Spiders' win total in each of his years at the helm, makes his first A-10 Tournament appearance as head coach. Richmond finished the 2011 regular season at 26-25-2.
At the conclusion of the regular season, three A-10 teams with 13-11 records were vying for the final two tournament spots - Richmond, La Salle and St. Bonaventure. The Spiders won the three-team tie-breaker thanks to a 5-1 head-to-head record versus those two teams. The Explorers clinched the sixth-seed by way of a head-to-head series win over the Bonnies during the regular season.
Charlotte is the league champion (17-7) and owns the overall No. 1-seed, with second-seeded Rhode Island (16-8) also earning a first-round bye in the double-elimination tournament. Third-seeded Dayton (15-9) plays La Salle Wednesday following Richmond's game.
The winner of the Richmond vs. Xavier (14-11) game plays Charlotte Thursday at 12 p.m., while the loser faces the Dayton vs. La Salle loser in the tournament's first elimination game Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Richmond, which played the toughest league schedule of any A-10 team, is the last team to beat Xavier in a weekend series, taking two of three at Hayden Field in Cincinnati April 8-10. After starting A-10 play 3-6, the Musketeers were 11-5 over their final 16 league games.
The Spiders are 13-9 all-time in A-10 Tournament play and 2011 marks their fifth appearance, but first since 2007. Richmond has won at least two games in each of its five previous tournament appearances, winning the championship in 2003 and falling in a best-of-three championship series in 2002.
In each of the 2004, 2005 and 2007 appearances, the Spiders fell one win shy of playing for the title.
Richmond's .591 winning percentage in tournament play is the third-best among current A-10 members, trailing Charlotte (.600; 9-6) and Saint Louis (.889; 8-1). The Billikens won last year's tournament championship as the No. 5-seed and earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Regional.
The Spider Sports Network will carry each of the Richmond games during the A-10 Tournament, and the conference will provide live streaming video.
Richmond's A-10 Tournament History
2007 (2-2) - Dayton, Ohio
Richmond 8, St. Bonaventure 2
Fordham 3, Richmond 1
Richmond 5, Xavier 4
Fordham 11, Richmond 9
2005 (2-2) - Dayton, Ohio
Richmond 4, Fordham 1 (13 inn.)
Richmond 10, George Washington 3
Rhode Island 8, Richmond 3
George Washington 10, Richmond 4
2004 (2-2) - Norwich, Conn.
Richmond 4, Duquesne 2
Richmond 3, George Washington 0
St. Bonaventure 10, Richmond 9
Rhode Island 10, Richmond 3
2003 (4-1) - Norwich, Conn.
Xavier 2, Richmond 1
Richmond 8, George Washington 2
Richmond 6, Xavier 3
Richmond 8, Massachusetts 0
Richmond 7, Massachusetts 4 - Championship Game
2002 (3-2) - Norwich, Conn. (Championship series at Richmond, Va.)
Richmond 5, Temple 3
Richmond 6, George Washington 4
*George Washington 6, Richmond 4 (10 inn.)
*Richmond 12, George Washington 5
*George Washington 6, Richmond 4
* - best-of-three championship series at Pitt Field (Richmond, Va.)