UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. – The University of Richmond Spiders baseball team overcame an early, 6-0 deficit, scoring eight runs in the fourth inning to take down Atlantic 10-leading Saint Louis, 8-7, on Friday afternoon.
With the victory, Richmond improves to 25-15 on the season overall and to 8-5 in Atlantic 10 conference play. With just their second A-10 loss on the year, Saint Louis falls to 29-12 on the year and to 11-2 in league action.
“That was a tremendous comeback win for us today, being down six runs after three innings,” Richmond head coach Mark McQueen said following the game. “I thought the key today was that we showed a lot of maturity not to panic and not trying to get back in to it – we stuck to the game plan.”
Freshman Tanner Stanley finished just a home run shy of the cycle, going 3-for-5 on the day with a triple, double, two RBI and a run scored. Senior Matt Zink drove in a pair of runs, while junior Adam Forrer had a RBI triple. Juniors J.B. Gadd and Mike Small also had a RBI each in the win.
On the mound, freshman RHP Peter Bayer (4-1) was terrific out of the bullpen. The rookie pitched 4.2 innings of relief, allowing just one run while striking out six to earn the victory. Junior RHP Andrew Brockett tossed the final two innings to notch his second save of the year.
Saint Louis jumped on the Spiders early on Friday afternoon, plating six runs in the first three innings to chase Richmond starter Zak Sterling. Then with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, the Spiders started an epic rally.
With runners on first and second after singles from senior Jacob Mayers and Forrer, freshman Tyler Beckwith singled to left field to load the bases. With two away, both Gadd and Small had great at-bats, drawing a pair of walks to cut the SLU lead to 6-2.
Up next was Zink, who lined a 3-2 pitch to left to plate a pair of runs, cutting the Billikens’ lead in half. Stanley followed and promptly blasted a two-run triple over the head of the Saint Louis center fielder, tying the game. Trying to get Stanley at third, the Billikens’ shortstop threw the ball in to the Richmond dugout, allowing Stanley to score on the error, giving Richmond a 7-6 lead.
Coming to the plate for the second time in the frame, Mayers drew a walk to get on base. Next up was Forrer, who lined a RBI triple down the right-field line, capping an eight-run, two-out rally that gave the Spiders an 8-6 lead.
Refusing to quit, Saint Louis’ Mike Vigliarolo hit his second home run of the day – a solo shot – over the fence in left field in the top of the seventh, making the Richmond lead just one, 8-7.
The one-run cushion would be enough for the Spiders, however, as Brockett sat the Billikens down in order in the eighth and stranded a runner in the ninth to secure the wild, come-from-behind win for Richmond, 8-7.
The Richmond Spiders will continue their three-game series with Saint Louis on Saturday at Pitt Field. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.