UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. – It was a bittersweet afternoon at Pitt Field on Saturday. The Spider Baseball program closed out the 2017 season honoring its seniors in a pregame ceremony to thank them for their contributions to the program.
Despite having a one-run lead through six innings, the Spiders dropped a 4-1 decision to crosstown rival VCU in the season finale.
The Rams looked to get on the board first after loading the bases in the first but Layne Looney got out of the jam ending the inning with a strikeout. In the home half of the inning, Vinny Capra took a pitch in the lower back to get to first before a Daniel Brumbaugh single. The Spiders jumped to a 1-0 lead behind a Jonathan de Marte RBI single.
Once again VCU continued to threaten and had runners in scoring position in the fourth, looking to break through, but it another Looney strikeout would get the Spiders out of the jam to protect Richmond's 1-0 lead. The right-hander matched a career-best of six strikeouts in his final appearance of the season.
The Spiders looked to extend their lead, but VCU struck in the seventh with four runs to take a 4-1 advantage.
In their final game of their Spider careers, de Marte was credited with the first run of the game for Richmond and also logged 1.2 innings of work on the mound. Zach Grossfeld faced a batter to complete the clean eighth inning.
Brandon Johnson tossed an inning of relief in his third appearance on the hill. The right-hander racked up three strikeouts, which is a new career-best mark for the junior. Brendan McGuigan worked a clean top of the ninth inning sending the Spiders back to the plate to fuel a rally. That rally would fall short as the Rams held on to maintain their lead.
THANK YOU SENIORS!
RJ Watters | Graduate Student | Gahanna, Ohio
Watters has only with the program for one season, but made an impact on and off the field. In one season, he saw time in the outfield in 46 games including 37 starts. He has registered a .266 batting average with 34 hits and 18 RBI. Last month he hit his first home run as a Spider here at Pitt Field.
Zach Moore | Senior | Brentwood, Tennessee
Moore has a staple of the program during his four years. He made 39 appearances out of the bullpen. In 2014 he logged a career long outing of four and a third innings against crosstown rival VCU and this season he hit a career-best mark of three strikeouts against Michigan State.
Kurtis Brown | Senior | Champaign, Illinois
Brown has been an essential part of the Spider Baseball program during his four years and was selected as a captain by his teammates the last two seasons. He has a career batting average of .303 and has started 143 games during his career while amassing eight home runs and 91 RBI. He also has a lifetime ERA of 0.00 after two appearances on the hill last season, and has garnered Atlantic 10 All-Rookie and First Team honors.
Jonathan de Marte | Graduate Student | Yorktown Heights, New York
De Marte has hit in the middle of the order all season and has a team-best 1.88 ERA in 16 appearances as a relief pitcher. At the plate, de Marte hit .294 in his final season and started in 51 games at third base or as the team's designated hitter. On the hill he registered 32 strikeouts in 30.1 innings of work.
Zach Grossfeld | Graduate Student | Plainview, New York
Grossfeld also has played an important role for the Spiders this season, leading the team with 25 appearances out of the bullpen. During his time with the program he has made a total of 70 appearances. He has a 120 career strikeouts to his name in 160 innings of work.