UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. – The University of Richmond Spiders baseball team evened its series with the Charlotte 49ers on Saturday afternoon at Pitt Field, 4-3.
With the victory, Richmond improves its record on the season to 15-7 and to 1-1 in Atlantic 10 conference play. Charlotte falls to the same mark, 15-7 overall and 1-1 in league action.
Junior RHP Andrew Blum (3-0) was terrific for the Spiders on Saturday, pitching seven strong innings to earn the win. Blum struck out four batters while allowing just two earned runs. Sophomore James Lively tossed the final two innings to earn his second save of the season.
“Just a great overall game again with it coming down to the last inning,” Richmond head coach Mark McQueen said following the win. “Blum really pitched well today and the offense did what it needed to get the victory.”
Offensively, freshman Aaron Newman had a two-run double for the Spiders, while senior Matt Zink plated the eventual game-winner with a RBI single in the seventh. Senior Jacob Mayers slugged his third home run of the season as well in the victory.
Two-out hitting was the story of the game for the Spiders. Still scoreless in the bottom of the fourth, Newman sliced a two-out, two-run double down the left field line to open the scoring.
Charlotte responded to Richmond’s scoring in the fourth with three runs over the next two innings, taking a 3-2 lead. In the bottom of the sixth, the Spiders tied the game on a long homer off the bat of Mayers, his third of the season.
With the game still tied 3-3 in the seventh, the senior Zink came through for Richmond with two outs, plating a run with a single up the middle.
With the score still 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth, the game took a turn for the dramatic.
After a single, fielder’s choice and a wild pitch, the 49ers had runners on second and third with no outs, looking to tie or take the lead. After getting a big strikeout, Lively then faced Charlotte’s Shane Basen, who had three hits on the day.
With runners still on second and third and one out, Basen hit a fly ball to right field. Making a great play to catch the ball was Richmond’s RF Tanner Stanley, who managed to snag the quickly sinking liner just before it hit the ground.
The Charlotte runner at third was tagging the entire way and scampered home, but the runner at second did not tag and Richmond was able to double him off 9-3-6.
Confusion then set in, as the Spider bench erupted out of the dugout and began celebrating a victory, while the 49ers believed the game-tying run had scored prior to the double play. The umpires gathered in the infield to discuss the play and determined that the run did not score, giving the game to Richmond, 4-3.
The Richmond Spiders baseball team will conclude their three-game series with Charlotte tomorrow at Pitt Field. First pitch is now scheduled for 11 a.m. due to impending weather in the forecast.