Richmond Outlasts UMass Baseball, 4-3, In 14 Innings
March 20, 2009
RICHMOND, Va. - The UMass baseball team held a one-run lead over Richmond in the bottom of the ninth, but the Spiders managed to score with two outs on three separate occasions during the game and outlasted the Minutemen, 4-3, in a 14-inning marathon to open Atlantic 10 play on Friday afternoon on Pitt Field. UMass is now 4-8 on the year and 0-1 in the A-10 following the loss, while the Spiders move to 10-4, 1-0 in conference play.
Richmond took a 1-0 lead in the third on a two-out RBI double by Adam McConnell. Phil Ruzbarsky came in on the play after leading off the inning with the first hit of the day by either team, a single to left field.
In the top of the fifth, UMass capitalized on a trio of errors by the Spiders to pull in front, 2-1. Junior Brian Baudinet began the frame with a double to right, moved to third on a failed pickoff and scored when junior Mike Donato reached on an error. The next batter, senior Jim Macdonald reached on an error, as well, and later came in on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Kyle Multner.
Richmond went on to tie the score at 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh. Ruzbarsky drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a sacrifice and crossed the plate when Andrew Lowry dropped an RBI single into center.
The Minutemen went back on top with a run in the ninth. Back-to-back one-out singles by Macdonald and sophomore Peter Copa gave UMass runners on the corners for pinch hitter Matt Gedman. Gedman hit a ground ball to the right side of the infield that scored Macdonald, giving UMass a 3-2 advantage, but the Spiders escaped the inning without further damage.
Down to its last out, Richmond managed to tie the score at three with two gone in the bottom of the ninth. Lowry, the first batter of the inning, was hit by a pitch and crossed the plate on an error that would have otherwise ended the contest, sending the game into extra innings.
Then in the 14th, Rob Massar was hit by a pitch to begin the Spiders' turn at-bat. Ryan Metzroth sacrificed him over to second and Massar eventually reached third on a double steal after Chris Cowell was walked intentionally. Following a strikeout to Leith, Victor Croglio was at the plate when a pitch from junior Mike Gedman sailed to the backstop, allowing Massar to trot home.
Gedman was the hard-luck loser for UMass, getting hung with the loss (0-1) despite giving the Minutemen 6.1 solid innings of relief work. He allowed two runs, one earned, and let up only one hit with three walks and five strikeouts in the longest outing of his career.
Anthony Cafagna picked up the win (1-0) for Richmond, throwing two hitless innings out of the bullpen without allowing a run and posting one strikeout, walking none.
Baudinet had three of UMass' nine hits on the afternoon, going 3-for-6 with a double and a run scored. Macdonald scored twice, while Donato, Matt Gedman and Multner each registered an RBI.
The Minutemen and the Spiders will be back in action tomorrow afternoon, Mar. 21, when the squads will meet again on Pitt Field at 2 p.m.
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