The University of Richmond baseball team was able to hold off conference opponent George Washington University, 7-6, on Saturday afternoon in the second game of a three game series this weekend at Pitt Field.
Junior Matt Trent received the win, improving his record 2-4. He pitched seven innings for the Spiders and struck out a career-high nine batters.
Trent missed all of last season with an arm injury, but has been improving since the start of the season, said Richmond manager Mark McQueen.
Trent's first two outings were against Oklahoma and Ohio State, when McQueen said Trent had trouble throwing the ball over the plate.
While the beginning of Trent's year was rocky, McQueen called his last two starts "lights out."
"I thought him getting ground balls on a day like today where the wind is blowing... that was the key," McQueen said.
Junior Billy Barber extended his A-10 leading hitting streak to 22 games during the first inning when singled to left field to score a run.
"It's great to get so many hits in a streak, but it's that much better to win," Barber said. "Hopefully I keep seeing the ball well and swinging well."
The turning point in the game came in the fifth inning, when Richmond led 2-1. A solo home run by junior Mike Mergenthaler made the score 3-1. Then with two outs, Colonials' starting pitcher Joe Richardson hit Spider third baseman Cameron Brown, and gave up a single to designated hitter Chris Cowell.
Catcher Evan Stehle hit a fly ball into right field that the GW outfielder lost in the sun. The ball landed just short of the warning track and allowed Brown and Cowell to score, making the score 5-1.
In the eighth inning, after giving up a single and a walk, Trent was pulled for junior Billy Falasco. He was able to strand the two Colonials base runners.
The Spiders needed to use three pitchers in the ninth inning to stop a George Washington comeback.
Falasco was pulled after giving up a homerun to pinch hitter Curtis Eward. Shawn O'Neill, a left-handed pitcher, was brought to face left-handed hitting pinch hitter Joe Motto, who had an infield hit.
With two out, McQueen turned to freshman Jolmi Minaya-Suriel to close out the game.
Minaya gave up a two-run homerun to the Colonials clean-up hitter, Chris Holland, which made the game 7-6, but was able to retire the next hitter to record his first collegiate save.
"I was a little nervous coming in," Minaya said. "That led to me making a mistake. But getting my first save feels great."
The series concludes with a 1 p.m. game on Sunday afternoon at Pitt Field. Junior Anthony Cafagna is slated to start for the Spiders.
Contact Collegian reporter Zak Kozuchowski at email@example.com
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