Richmond, VCU prepare for conference tournaments

Richmond, VA (WWBT)- The Richmond and VCU baseball teams departed for their respective conference tournament destinations on Monday afternoon.  Both teams enter as number five seeds looking to win league titles as underdogs and punch their tickets to the NCAA Tournament.

The Spiders are the fifth seed in the Atlantic 10 and clinched the spot Saturday in dramatic fashion.  Third baseman Adam McConnell's bases loaded single in the 14th inning provided the game winning RBI to give the Spiders a 3-2 victory over Fordham, securing them a spot in the conference tournament.  McConnell has had been through a whirlwind the last two seasons.  After suffering a hip-injury that put him out of the 2011 season, he was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 30th round of the MLB draft, but opted to return to Richmond.  The decision has paid off, and Saturday McConnell got the chance to deliver the biggest hit of his career.

Richmond will face fourth seeded UMass on Wednesday, as the A10 Tournament gets underway in the Bronx.  The Spiders lost two of three to the Minutemen during their regular season series in Amherst.  Both teams boast conference records of 14-10.

As for VCU, the Rams locked up a CAA Tournament bid with a series win at James Madison two weekends ago.  The Rams are 15-15 in conference play and will face fourth seeded George Mason, which swept VCU at The Diamond during the regular season.  The Rams have been through and emotional season that has seen head coach Paul Keyes take a leave of absence to recover from a serious illness. They'll face the Patriots on Wednesday at noon.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.