JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The University of Richmond Spiders used a five-run first inning to help win its first road game of the season on Friday night, defeating the Jacksonville Dolphins, 8-3.
With the victory, Richmond moves to 5-0 for the first time since 2009, while Jacksonville falls to 1-4 on the young season.
Freshman Jansen Fraser had another impressive night at the plate for the Spiders, going 2-for-3 with four RBI and a run scored. Senior Jacob Mayers had a great night as well, going 3-for-4 with a RBI double and three runs scored. Junior Adam Forrer went 1-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored.
"Tonight was a big win for us considering the pitcher we were facing," Richmond head coach Mark McQueen said following the victory. "I was happy with the way the offense executed our game plan, taking advantage of some early miscues. Mayers swung the bat well and Fraser came up with some big RBIs once again."
Redshirt freshman Jonathan de Marte (2-0) was solid in his second career start, tossing five innings to get the win. The right-hander surrendered just two earned runs on two hits on the night. Junior RHP Ryan Cook was unhittable in his four innings of work out of the bullpen, tallying his second save of the year.
"Pitching wise, I though both de Marte and Cook threw the ball well. Jonathan gave us a good start and Cook was dominant out of bullpen once again for us. But overall, I thought the difference in the game was our defense."
The top of the first wasn't a pretty one for the host Dolphins on Friday night, as the Spiders took full advantage of three JU errors to push across five first-inning runs. After two errors and a strikeout, runners were on first and second for Mayers. After working the count to 2-2, Mayers smoked a double off the wall in left field to start the scoring.
Two batters later, Fraser took an 0-2 offering the opposite way to right center, plating a pair of runs. After a bloop single from Forrer, runners were on first and second for freshman Aaron Newman. First pitch swinging, Newman appeared to fly out to right field, but the JU outfielder dropped the ball, allowing two more unearned runs to cross the plate. After a half inning, Richmond led the host Dolphins, 5-0.
The Dolphins pushed across an unearned run of its own in the bottom of the first only to see Richmond respond in the top of the third. After a Mayers single and a walk to senior Bret Williams, Fraser laid down a great sacrifice bunt to move both runners in to scoring position. Next up was Forrer, who quickly plated Mayers with a RBI groundout to second base. After three full, Richmond led Jacksonville, 6-1.
Jacksonville closed the gap to just three runs with a two-spot in the bottom of the fourth, making the Richmond lead, 6-3. Four scoreless innings later, Richmond added to its lead in the top of the eighth. After a walk and back-to-back singles from Mayers and Williams, the bases were loaded for Fraser. Once again the rookie came through, slapping a two-run single past the drawn in JU infield.
With a five-run cushion, Cook went on cruise control. After walking the first batter he faced, Cook retired the next 12 Jacksonville batters, striking out four. Cook's second save of the season secured an 8-3 win for Richmond.
The Richmond Spiders will continue its three-game series with the Jacksonville Dolphins on Saturday at Sessions Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.