Spider right fielder Ryan Metzroth said during a recent interview that being team captain meant leading by example, both on the field and off the field.
If leadership on the field means hitting 3-for-4, with a home run, four runs batted-in and three runs scored, then Metzroth was a leader during the season opener, during which Richmond won 8-6 over the Niagara University Purple Eagles Saturday at Pitt Field.
Metzroth hit his first home run of the season his first time at bat, sending Eagles pitcher Marcus Spaulding's pitch over the left-center field wall, hitting the new life-sized stuffed Spiderman doll hanging upside down from the field's new scoreboard.
The home run scored junior third baseman Cameron Brown, who had been injured for most of last season. Brown also contributed a large portion of the offense for the win, batting 3-for-3 with a walk and four runs scored.
The two-run lead during the first inning held until the third inning when Spiders starting pitcher Ian Marshall gave up a solo home run to Eagles third baseman Brian Deering, a ball that just cleared the left-field wall. Marshall allowed two more runs during the fifth inning before he was pulled for senior relief pitcher Josh Horn.
Marshall pitched four 2-3 strong innings, during which his fastball peaked at 92 mph.
His pitch count got him into trouble, though. Marshall threw 24 pitches during the first inning alone and left the game having thrown 92 pitches. Marshall gave up three earned runs, walked one and struck out six.
Horn struggled through 1 1-3 innings -- giving up two earned runs -- and was pulled for freshman reliever Matt Zink, who performed well during two innings, striking out four batters. But he gave up a home run to Eagles first baseman Timothy Cozier, who sent the ball clear over the outfield scoreboard an estimated 430 feet from home plate.
That was all the offense the Eagles could produce. Senior closer Brian Alas earned his 19th career save, walking one batter and striking out another.
The Eagles scored six runs on nine hits and committed one error. The Spiders scored eight runs on nine hits and also committed an error.
Spiders first baseman Mike Mergenthaler contributed to the offense, hitting 3-for-4, with three RBIs. Catcher Evan Stehle also batted in a run on a sacrifice fly, scoring Brown from third base in the bottom of the third inning.
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The second game of the double-header was suspended because of darkness. The Spiders are leading the game at the top of the fifth by 14-7 after a 10-run fourth inning. The game will continue at noon on Sunday at Pitt Field.
This story will be updated with the full results of game two after its conclusion on Sunday afternoon
Contact staff writer David Larter at firstname.lastname@example.org
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