PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The University of Richmond Spiders baseball team split a pair of games with the Temple Owls on Saturday to win its second Atlantic 10 road series of the season. Richmond won game one, 9-4, but dropped game two, 7-6. With the split, the Spiders' record moves to 20-17 on the season overall and to 7-5 in A-10 play. Temple's record improves to 14-25 on the year and to 2-10 in league play.
Junior Jacob Mayers had another big day at the plate for the Spiders in game one, going 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs. Redshirt junior Matt Zink had three hits, including a homer, while classmate Ryan Mallory hit his first long-ball of the season in his two-hit effort. Senior Phil Ruzbarsky had four hits and drove in a run, while sophomore Adam Forrer also had a RBI.
Freshman Zak Sterling (5-1) had another solid outing for the Spiders in game one, tossing 6.2 innings, allowing just three runs. The rookie struck out six and surrendered just four hits on the afternoon. Sophomore Andrew Brockett pitched the final 2.1 innings, allowing just one run on one hit while striking out four.
In game two, both Ruzbarsky and redshirt junior Adam McConnell had two hits and two RBIs to lead Richmond. Seniors Bryan Conway and Chris Cowell each had a RBI in the loss, while freshman Joey Vecchione clubbed a pair of hits.
Out of the bullpen, sophomore Andrew Blum (4-2) had a nice game two for the Spiders despite taking the loss. Blum allowed two runs on just two hits over the course of his six innings pitched.
In the top of the first of game one, Mayers gave the Spiders an early lead. After a Zink leadoff single, the junior came to the plate with one out. On a 1-0 pitch, Mayers hammered the ball deep over the fence in left field, giving Richmond a 2-0 lead.
After two quick outs in the top of the second, Zink hit his third home run of the season - a solo shot - over the fence in left center. Then a walk and a double from Mayers put runners on second and third for Cowell. The senior blooped a ball to shallow right that dropped when the TU second baseman and right fielder collided, allowing two more runs to score. After two innings, the Spiders led 5-1.
Three scoreless innings later, Richmond added to its advantage in the top of the sixth. With one out, Mallory connected with a 1-0 offering, clearing the fence in right field for his first home run of the season. After two singles and a walk, the bases were loaded for Mayers. Swinging on a 1-2 pitch, Mayers plated sophomore Mike Small from third with a sacrifice fly, making the Spider lead 7-1.
In the ninth, RBI hits from Ruzbarsky and Forrer added to the Spider lead. Temple plated one in the bottom half, but it would not be nearly enough and Richmond won game one, 9-4.
The second game of the doubleheader got off to a different start, as Temple took a 5-0 lead over Richmond after three innings. In the top of the fourth, the Spiders cut in to the advantage on a Conway sacrifice fly, making the TU lead 5-1.
In the top of the fifth, Richmond cut further in to the Temple lead on a RBI single off the bat of McConnell, 5-2. The Owls answered right back, however, with an inside-the-park homer from Jabair Khan, pushing the lead back to 6-2 after five innings.
McConnell was back at it in the top of the seventh. With runners on first and second, the redshirt junior slapped a single through the left side of the infield for his second RBI of the game. After seven complete, Richmond trailed Temple, 6-3.
Trailing by three headed to the ninth, the Spiders staged a comeback. Small started the frame with a single. After a Zink single up the middle, the bases were then loaded after a walk to McConnell. With the bases full, Mayers hit in to a fielder's choice to the pitcher, as he cut down the run at home. Now with one out, Cowell battled through a long at-bat, drawing a walk to earn a RBI and cut the lead to 6-4.
Next to the plate for the Spiders was Ruzbarsky. On a 2-2 count, the senior grounded a single through the right side of the infield, scoring a pair and tying the game at 6-6.
In the bottom of the ninth, however, Temple would salvage a game in the series as Foster Dunigan singled home the winning run. The Owls took game two, 7-6.
The Richmond Spiders baseball team will next be in action on Friday, April 27 when the Spiders will play host to Atlantic 10 foe Dayton. First pitch at Pitt Field is scheduled for 3 p.m.