May 27, 2011
A-10 CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL
CAMDEN, N.J. – Backed by an explosive offensive effort, fifth-seeded Richmond (28-26-2) routed third-seeded Dayton (32-27), 10-3, and remained alive in the 2011 Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship at Campbell’s Field in Camden, N.J.
“Our players came out swinging right away,” explained Richmond head coach Mark McQueen. “They saw some pitches they liked and put some good strokes on the ball and found some gaps. We haven’t had a lot of big innings lately, but it was nice to get started like that.”
With the victory, the Spiders earned the right to advance in the A-10 Championship and will face second-seeded Rhode Island (31-21) tonight at 7:00PM. URI and UR will go head-to-head to determine who will square-off with top-seeded Charlotte in Saturday’s Championship game. The Rams fell, 5-2, to the 49ers earlier today.
“Everyone is tired this time of year,” said McQueen. “We are going to try and cool down as quickly as possible, get something to eat and drink and try to rest for a few minutes before taking the field again. I am proud of how these guys responded so far and their refuse-to-lose attitude. Matt Trent gave us one of the best outings of his career today and I am so happy that he could give that to us.”
Richmond opened the outing with six runs in the bottom of the first frame and never looked back. Matt Zink started things off by drawing a one-out walk and stealing second before Mike Mergenthaler reached via the base on balls as well. Jacob Mayers followed with a single to right to load the bases for Billy Barber, who laced a single to center to put the Spiders on the board. Catcher Chris Cowell then ripped a triple to the wall in right center to clear the base and extend the Spider’s lead to 4-0.
Next up for UR was Bret Williams, who lofted his third home run of the season over the wall in right field to give the Spiders a 6-0 cushion.
Dayton answered with a run in the top half of the second, as Mike Coughlin scored fellow Flyer on a sacrifice fly to right field. Welch previously reached base off a double to left field.
Richmond, however, continued the scoring spree, gathering four additional insurance runs in the fourth inning. Phil Ruzbarsky jacked his fifth homer of the season, a two-run shot down the right field line to score Adam Forrer. Mayers then drove in Zink on a single to left, before Cowell singles through the left side to score Mergenthaler.
Coughlin once again tried to keep the Flyers in the contest, registering his second RBI of the game off a single up the middle, scoring Jimmy Roesinger and crossing the plate with a run of his own, as Brian Blasik drove him home on a single to right center.
Richmond, however, would prove to be too much for Dayton, closing out the contest with the 10-3 victory. Spider hurler Matt Trent (2-4) claimed the win, going the distance on the mound with five strikeouts, while Dayton’s Tim Corbey (1-1) was charged with the loss after allowing six earned runs in one inning of work.
“We felt really confident,” explained Trent. “I came back out during the eighth and had thrown 100 pitches already and I told myself this was my game and I’m going to finish it. I wanted to go out like this and get us to the next round and hopefully the championship.”
The remaining A-10 Championship games, including Friday’s nightcap and Saturday’s Championship finale are being web-streamed live, free of charge to fans, through the A-10's official website -- www.atlantic10.com. 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, prior to the noon game, the first 100 kids to enter will receive an A-10 duffle bag and water bottle.