BRONX, N.Y. - Despite out-hitting the No. 2-seeded Dayton Flyers, the No. 5 Richmond Spiders fell in the Atlantic 10 Championship game on Saturday afternoon, 3-0. The Spiders' season ends with an overall record of 30-26, while Dayton moves on to the NCAA regionals after winning their first A-10 title in program history.
"I couldn't be prouder of this team, not only for what they did this year, but also last season," Spider head coach Mark McQueen said after the game. "To win five of their last six to make the tournament and then accomplish what they did here is terrific. The work this team puts in on the field, in the classroom, and in the community is a testament to the University of Richmond."
Despite falling in the championship game, the 2012 season was a terrific one for the Richmond Spiders. Reaching the Atlantic 10 final for the second-straight year, the Spiders won 30 games for the first time since the 2007 campaign. In each of head coach Mark McQueen's five seasons at the helm of the program, Richmond has improved its win total all five years, finishing this season at 30-26.
Leading the way offensively for the Spiders on Saturday was junior Jacob Mayers. The Mechanicsville, Va., native went 2-for-3 on the day with a double, while senior Chris Cowell also doubled for Richmond. Earning All-Tournament honors for the Spiders were Mayers, senior Phil Ruzbarsky, and freshman Zak Sterling.
Starting on just two days rest, senior Alex Maffett (5-3) had a great day for Richmond despite taking the loss. In his final appearance for the Spiders, Maffett tossed 6.2 innings, allowing three runs on just five hits. Out of the bullpen, freshman Ray Harron pitched a perfect 1.1 innings, striking out one.
The early story of the game for the Spiders was missed opportunities. Richmond continued to get runners in each of the first six innings, but was unable to get any runs on the board. Through the first six frames, the Spiders left eight runners on base - two each in the first, second, and fifth innings.
After scoring one run in the bottom of the first, the Flyers added another in the bottom of the third inning to take a 2-0 lead over Richmond after six complete innings.
In the top of the seventh, the Spiders once again threatened. Mike Small led off the inning with a single. Two batters later, Adam McConnell singled through the right side to put runners on first and second with one out. Richmond was unable to capitalize, however, as a fielder's choice and a fly out ended the Spider threat in the seventh.
After a double steal in the bottom of the seventh plated another run for Dayton, the Flyers took a 3-0 lead in to the ninth inning. In the bottom of the ninth, the Spiders were able to get a runner on thanks to a Dayton error, but were unable to stage a late rally. Richmond would fall to the Flyers, 3-0.
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