May 25, 2011
BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL
Game 1 Photo Gallery
CAMDEN, N.J. - Fifth-seeded Richmond handed No. 4 Xavier a 5-4 upset during the first game of the 2011 Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship, Wednesday afternoon at Campbell's Field in Camden, N.J. With the win, the Spiders improve to 27-25-2 on the season and advance to the quarterfinals, where they will face regular season champion and tournament top-seed Charlotte, Thursday at 12:00PM. Xavier drops to 30-26 overall and will play the loser of the No. 3 Dayton/No. 6 La Salle outing, tonight at 7:00PM.
Saint Louis was the last No. 5 seed to oust the event's fourth seed, defeating No. 4 Fordham during the first game of the 2010 Championship. The Billikens went on to win the 2010 A-10 title.
The Spiders got on the board first, posting three runs in the top of the third courtesy of second-team All-Conference selection Mike Merganthaler. The senior outfielder ripped a two-RBI single to right center, driving home Phil Ruzbarsky and Matt Zink, before registering a run of his own scoring off a Xavier wild pitch.
A-10 Player of the Year Ben Thomas countered in the bottom of the fourth, hitting a solo home run to right field. Thomas' homer marked the 44th of his career and placed him a top the program's all-time career home run list.
A pair of singles from Ruzbarsky and Zink, along with a walk for Mergenthaler loaded the bases for Richmond in the top of the fifth. Jacob Mayers provided UR with a run, bringing home Ruzbarsky on a sacrifice fly to left field, before Billy Barber scored Zink on an RBI single through the left side.
Trailing, 5-1, Xavier began to rally in the bottom of the fifth after Phil Bauer's double drove home John McCambridge. Mark Elwell added to the comeback effort, assisting on back-to-back runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Elwell made the score 5-3 on a Richmond wild pitch in the seventh and then reached base on a fielder's choice, allowing Shelby Chidemo to score.
Richmond, however, would prevail in the contest, winning its first neutral site game of the season. Barber (4) secured the save for Richmond and hurler Andrew Brockett (3-4) picked up the win tossing 2.2 innings in relief. XU's Jon Richard (5-5) took the loss for the Musketeers after allowing five runs on eight hits while striking out eight in 7.0 innings of work.
Play continues at the A-10 Baseball Championship later today, as No. 3 Dayton will take on No. 6 La Salle at 3:30PM. Live audio and video will be provided during the Championship to fans, free of charge, through the Atlantic 10 website - www.atlantic10.com. Live audio of the Championship will be available, May 25-26, while the games on May 27-28 will be web-streamed. For complete coverage of the 2011 Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship, log on to www.atlantic10.com.
Tickets are available through the Campbell's Field box office or by calling 866-742-7579. Single-day tickets are available for $8 for adults and $4 for children, students with a valid ID and senior citizens. On Saturday, during the noon game, the first 100 kids to enter will receive an A-10 duffle bag and water bottle.
RICHMOND HEAD COACH MARK MCQUEEN
On starting pitcher Anthony Cafagna:
"I thought [Andrew] gave us a great outing today. We brought him back on four days' rest; he actually bumped our other guy [Bret] Williams. Anthony came out very strong and I was extremely proud to get 4-5 innings out of him. He battled and gave me everything he had. His last four starts have just been that way. I loved giving him the opportunity and he definitely responded."
On right fielder, Mike Mergenthalar:
"He's been our leader all year. He is good for one or two big hits every game. We feel very comfortable when he comes up to the plate. He's played every inning of every game for us this year."
On the UR bullpen:
"Our bullpen is beat up. We are going to throw anyone we have to out there; we have nothing to lose. There is no reason to save anyone at this point. "
"There one of the premier teams we play. We came one hit away from taking two out of three from them down at their place. Our guys are not afraid of playing them. They have some real good pitching and we are just happy to be playing them.