RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Thanks to a five run fifth inning, the University of Richmond coasted to a victory over its cross-town rival.
The Spiders defeated VCU, 7-1, Wednesday afternoon at Pitt Field. With the victory, the Spiders improve to 13-6 on the season, while the Rams fall to 11-10 on the year overall.
Sophomore Andrew Blum (3-0) was tremendous on the mound for the Spiders, tossing seven innings, allowing just one earned run on three hits. Bum also struck out seven batters while issuing just two walks. Classmate Chris Bates threw a scoreless inning in his first appearance of the year, while junior Jolmi Minaya pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
At the plate, the nation's leading home run-hitting team continued to play long ball, hitting three homers on the day. Senior Chris Cowell hit his 10th of the season - a three-run shot - that gives him the national lead in the category. Classmate Bryan Conway and sophomore Adam Forrer each had solo shots for the Spiders. Sophomore Mike Small continued his hot-hitting of late, going 3-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI.
The Spiders jumped on the board first Wednesday afternoon, converting a leadoff double from Matt Zink and a single from Small in to the game's first run. With the runners on second and third with one out, senior Phil Ruzbarsky grounded out to first base, plating Zink to give the Spiders a 1-0 lead.
In the top of the second, however, VCU tied the game at 1-1 on a solo home run off the bat of Vimael Machin. After a scoreless third, Richmond took the lead for good on a home run off the bat of Forrer, his second of the season.
The fifth inning was again the big one for the Spiders, as Richmond pushed across five runs in the frame to take control of the contest. Highlighting the inning for the Spiders were the back-to-back home runs from Cowell and Conway. Also in the inning, Small brought home a run with a down the left-field line. With its five runs in the fifth inning on Wednesday, the Spiders have now outscored their opponents 46-14 in the fifth inning.
With a comfortable 7-1 lead, Blum and the rest of the Spider pitching staff took over, not allowing VCU to stage a comeback. Richmond would win the ballgame, 7-1. With the win, the Spiders have now won four of their last five games against VCU, including three-straight at Pitt Field.