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Sterling Leads Spiders To 10th-Straight Win
Courtesy: Richmond Athletics
Release: 03/10/2012
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UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. - The University of Richmond Spiders baseball team shutout the Quinnipiac Bobcats for the second-consecutive game on Saturday afternoon, defeating the Bobcats, 8-0, at Pitt Field.  With the victory, the Spiders have now won 10-straight games, pushing their overall record to 10-3 on the season.  With the loss, Quinnipiac falls to 1-5 on the year.

Freshman pitcher Zak Sterling (2-0) was terrific for the Spiders on Saturday afternoon, earning his second win of the season.  Sterling tossed a career-high 7.2 shutout innings, surrendering just three hits while striking out four.  Junior Jolmi Minaya pitched the final 1.1 frames, striking out one and allowing just one hit.

Senior Chris Cowell continued his stellar start to the year, homering for the second-consecutive day, going 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs.  Classmate Bryan Conway went 2-for-2 with a two-run double and two runs scored.  Sophomore Mike Small also drove in a run for the Spiders.

The 10-game winning streak for the Spiders is the longest for the team in almost a decade.  During the 2002 campaign, Richmond reeled off 10-straight wins twice dating the season on their way to making a NCAA Super Regional appearance.

Richmond jumped all over the Bobcats early on Saturday afternoon, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first.  With two outs, senior Jacob Mayers doubled down the right-field line to start the rally.  Mayers then moved to third on a wild pitch and stood just 90 feet from home plate.  Up next, Cowell hit a sharp grounder to the QU shortstop, who was forced to backhand the well-hit ball.  The Bobcat shortstop was unable to glove the ball cleanly, allowing Mayers to score from third.

After a walk to senior Phil Ruzbarsky, Conway stepped to the plate and crushed a double to left field that one-hopped the fence, scoring both Cowell and Ruzbarsky.  The Spiders added another run on a QU throwing error and took a 4-0 lead in to the second inning.

In the second inning, Richmond again took advantage of a Quinnipiac mishap, scoring two more runs on a costly throwing error.  After two complete, the Spiders held a 6-0 advantage.

After a RBI single from Small in the third inning, the Spiders added their final run in the fourth inning.  With one down, Cowell stepped to the dish for Richmond.  After falling behind early in the count, Cowell battled back to run the count full.  On the 3-2 offering, the senior crushed a solo homer to right-center field that clanged off the scoreboard.  Cowell's team-leading eighth homer gave the Spiders its winning margin of 8-0.

With the Richmond offense once again running on all cylinders, Sterling was able to settle in nicely on the mound.  Thanks to his great outing, Sterling lowered his season ERA to 2.08 and has allowed opponents to hit just .175 on the season.

The Richmond Spiders baseball team will go for the sweep of the Quinnipiac Bobcats on Sunday afternoon at Pitt Field.  First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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