AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Richmond Spiders baseball team dropped a hard-fought, 3-1 game at Massachusetts on Friday afternoon. With the setback, the Spiders fall to 21-21 on the season overall and to 8-8 in Atlantic 10 conference play. With the win, the Minutemen improve to 18-16 on the year and to 10-6 in league action.
Sophomore Adam Forrer had a solo home run to lead the Spider offense on Friday, while redshirt junior Adam McConnell had three of Richmond's 11 hits, going 3-for-4 with a stolen base. Senior Phil Ruzbarsky and redshirt junior Matt Zink each had a pair of hits on the afternoon.
In just his third start of the season, sophomore Andrew Brockett pitched well despite taking the loss, going 4.1 innings. Brockett allowed two runs, just one earned, while striking out five. Out of the bullpen, senior Alex Maffett pitched 3.1 innings, allowing just one run on two hits.
The Spiders had chances to score in both the second and fifth innings, but were unable to get on the board. In the second, two walks and a hit-by- pitch loaded the bases, but Richmond followed with a foul out and a groundout to end the frame.
After Massachusetts scored one in the bottom of the fourth, Richmond had another chance one inning later. In the top of the fifth, three-straight one-out singles loaded the bases once again for the Spiders. Richmond was unable to get on the board, however, as a pop out and a fielder's choice kept the score 1-0 in favor of UMass.
Trailing 2-0 after UMass scored an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth, Forrer led off the top of the sixth for the Spiders with a bang. On a 1-1 pitch, the sophomore blasted his fourth home run of the season over the fence in right field, cutting the Minutemen lead in half, 2-1.
Richmond nearly tied the game in the next frame, but was cut down on a close call at home plate. With one out, runners were on first and second for senior Bryan Conway. On a 1-2 offering, Conway singled through the left side of the infield. Classmate Chris Cowell tried to score from second on the play, but was called out on a tight play at the plate, keeping the Minutemen lead at 2-1.
UMass was able to add a run to its lead in the bottom of the eighth, making the Richmond deficit, 3-1, headed to the ninth. In the Spider half of the ninth, Richmond was unable to mount a late rally, falling to Massachusetts, 3-1.
The Richmond Spiders baseball team will continue its three-game series with the Massachusetts Minutemen on Saturday in Amherst. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.