CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The University of Richmond Spiders baseball team defeated the La Salle Explorers on Tuesday night in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, 7-2. With the win, Richmond advances to play either Saint Louis or Xavier Wednesday night at 5 p.m.
Freshman Tyler Beckwith continued his strong play in the A-10 Tournament, going 3-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored. Junior Adam Forrer had a triple and a RBI, while classmate Mike Small also had two hits with a RBI. Freshman Jansen Fraser had two hits including a triple and two runs scored, while junior J.B. Gadd also drove in a run.
Redshirt freshman RHP Jonathan de Marte (5-1) was outstanding for the Spiders on Tuesday night. De Marte pitched a season-high seven innings, allowing just two run, one earned, while striking out five to earn the win. LHP Chris Bates and RHP Dan Martinson each pitched scoreless innings in relief.
In a bizarre top of the first inning, the Spiders were able to take advantage of two La Salle errors to take a quick, 1-0 lead. With one out, freshman Tanner Stanley reached base on catcher’s interference.
After a fielder’s choice moved Stanley to first, the freshman tried to take third on a ball in the dirt. Trying to throw the rookie out, the La Salle catcher’s throw sailed in to left field, allowing Stanley to trot home for the game’s first run.
In the top of the third, the Spiders added to their lead. After walks to Mike Small and Joey Vecchione and a groundout, runners were on second and third for Forrer. The junior lined a single to right field, easily scoring Small from third base. Vecchione tried to score all the way from second, but was called out at the plate.
La Salle made the most of its first hit on the night in the bottom of the third, as Brandon Day broke a 1-for-39 skid with a solo home run down the left field line.
Leading 2-1 in the top of the fourth, Richmond added to its lead with a pair of runs. After La Salle walked the bases loaded, freshman Tyler Beckwith scored on a wild pitch. During the same at-bat, Small singled to left field to push the Richmond lead to 4-1.
The Explorers answered right back in the bottom of the fifth, cutting the lead to 4-2 with one run. Richmond came right back in the top of the sixth, making the lead 5-2. With one out, Fraser tripled to deep center field and was plated on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Gadd.
In the eighth, Richmond continued to expand its lead over the Explorers. After a leadoff triple from junior Nick Poulos, Beckwith plated him with single through the middle. Three batters later, Beckwith scored on an error on the La Salle second baseman, making the Spider lead, 7-2.
With the comfortable five-run lead, Richmond cruised through the final two innings, defeating La Salle, 7-2.
With the victory, the Richmond Spiders move on to Wednesday and will face either No. 1-seeded Saint Louis or No. 4-seeded Xavier at 5 p.m. in Charlotte.