RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Hanover product Jacob Mayers was the #1 baseball player in the state his senior season. Now he's a do-it-all player for the Spiders.
Mayers bats third, is the Friday starter, and plays some first base. But Friday, he did something that even shocked his coach.
The Spiders baseball team posted its first walk-off win of the season, defeating Atlantic 10-rival Xavier, 2-1, in 10 innings. Junior Jacob Mayers (5-2) was tremendous for the Spiders on Friday, tossing a 10-inning complete game. Mayers allowed just one unearned run on two hits while matching a career-high with 11 strikeouts. The Mechanicsville, Va. native was unhittable in stretches, retiring 16-straight XU batters at one point. The 10-inning, complete game effort is the first in the modern era for Richmond baseball.
With the victory, Richmond improves to 16-11 overall and to 3-1 in conference play. With the loss, Xavier falls to 11-18 on the season and to 2-2 in league play.
In a release, Richmond head coach Mark McQueen said, "What Jake did on the mound today was the most dominant and impressive pitching performance I have seen in collegiate baseball."
Sophomore Adam Forrer delivered the biggest hit of the day - a walk-off single to right field to secure the win. Freshman Eric Flanagan went 2-for-3 with a RBI while Mayers and sophomore Mike Small each had a pair of hits.
Offense was at a premium at Pitt Field on Friday, as the wind was swirling at 15-20 MPH most of the game. The Musketeers were the first to strike, scoring a run in the top of the third to take a 1-0 lead over the Spiders.
Through the first five innings, Richmond wasn't having a problem getting runners on base, but was struggling to plate them, leaving six runners stranded in the first five frames.
In the sixth, the Spiders broke through and tied the game. After a walk, a hit-by-pitch, and an error the bases were loaded with no outs. After a strikeout, Flanagan came to the plate for Richmond, singling to right-center field to tie the game at 1-1.
With Mayers dealing on the mound, the Spiders and Musketeers headed to extra innings still tied at 1-1.
In the top of the 10th, Mayers came back out for Richmond. Xavier was able to get runners on second and third, but Mayers induced an inning-ending fly out to get out of trouble.
It looked as though the game was destined for an 11th inning as the first two Spider batters in the bottom of the 10th were retired. But senior Phil Ruzbarsky then started a two-out rally, smacking a single up the middle. Classmate Bryan Conway then singled through the left side of the infield, putting runners on first and second for Forrer. The sophomore second baseman came through in the clutch for the Spiders, drilling a walk-off single to deep right field, scoring Ruzbarsky from second base. The dramatic, 2-1 win in 10 innings was the third-straight A-10 victory for Richmond.
The Richmond Spiders baseball team will continue its three-game, Atlantic 10 conference series with the Xavier Musketeers on Saturday. First pitch at Pitt Field is scheduled for 2 p.m.