HIGH POINT, N.C. - The University of Richmond Spiders baseball team won its seventh-straight game on Tuesday night, defeating the High Point Panthers, 7-6. With the victory, Richmond improved its record to 7-3 on the season, while High Point fell to 8-6 with the loss.
Senior Phil Ruzbarsky was spectacular for the Spiders on Tuesday, going 2-for-4 with two home runs, five RBIs, and two runs scored. The game was the first multi-homer game for Ruzbarsky while the five RBIs were a career high. Sophomore Adam Forrer also had a pair of hits, while sophomore Mike Small and freshman Eric Flanagan each drove in a run.
On the mound, sophomore Andrew Blum (2-0) won his second-straight decision, pitching five innings while allowing three earned runs. Classmate Andrew Brockett tossed the final 2.2 innings for the Spiders in shutout fashion, allowing just one hit while recording his second save of the season.
On a beautiful day in High Point, North Carolina, the Spiders jumped on the board early against the host Panthers. After a leadoff walk to senior Chris Cowell, Ruzbarsky notched his fourth home run of the season with a two-run shot over the right field fence, giving the Spiders a 2-0 lead.
After a single from senior Bryan Conway and a High Point error, runners were on the corners with no outs for Flanagan. Swinging at the first pitch, Flanagan plated Conway with a hard-hit single to right center. Small was up next and delivered Richmond's fourth run of the frame with a sacrifice fly to center. After an inning and a half, the Spiders had a 4-0 advantage over High Point.
Playing on their home field, the Panthers continued to battle the Spiders, scoring one in the third and two in the fourth to cut the Richmond lead to 4-3 after four full.
In the top of the fifth, however, Ruzbarsky and the Spiders answered right back. After a pair of walks, a sacrifice bunt, and a groundout runners were on the corners with two outs for the Spider right fielder. After falling down in the count 0-2, Ruzbarsky fought back to force a 2-2 count, fouling numerous pitches off. After the back-and-forth, Ruzbarsky once again played long-ball, crushing a three-run shot over the HPU scoreboard in right field. Ruzbarsky's second homer of the day gave the Spiders a 7-3 lead.
The Panthers continued to scratch and claw back in the game, scoring one run in the sixth and seventh to cut the lead to just one, 7-6, headed to the ninth. The Spiders looked as though it had added to its lead on a single from junior Jacob Mayers, but Small was called out on a close play at home trying to score from second base. After the play at the plate, the Spiders took a 7-6 lead in to the bottom of the ninth.
In the bottom of the ninth, Brockett induced groundout to get the first out, he got some help from his defense to get the second. On a sharply hit grounder off the bat of Josh Spano, Richmond third baseman Adam McConnell made a diving play to his left, got to his feet and threw out Span at first for the second out. Brockett then struck out the final HPU batter, securing the 7-6 win for the Spiders.
The Richmond Spiders baseball team will wrap up its two-game, midweek series with the High Point Panthers on Wednesday at Williard Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. with live stats available at RichmondSpiders.com.