The Collegian
Saturday, April 13, 2024

Richmond drops the second in weekend series vs. Bucknell

The University of Richmond dropped the second of its three-game series, 5-3, against Bucknell University on Saturday evening after being held scoreless through the final five innings.

The Spiders and the Bisons went back and forth during the first few innings at Pitt Field, but an RBI single during the sixth inning by Bucknell first baseman Doug Shribman broke the 3-3 tie and put the Bisons ahead for good.

Richmond began the game with a home run by left fielder Robby Massar during the bottom of the first inning to take an early 1-0 lead.

"I was just hoping to put a ball in play honestly," Massar said. "[Bucknell's pitcher] left a fastball over the plate and the wind was blowing a little bit today, so I was trying to get it up in the air."

Richmond's starting pitcher Anthony Cafagna (1-1) gave up eight hits, four walks, four runs (three earned) during his six innings of work. Four of the runs were back-to-back homers hit by Bucknell outfielders Bob Donato and Gerry Runyan in the third inning.

"[Cafagna] is a fly ball pitcher and in this park right here, with the wind blowing out a little bit, he's got to really keep the ball down," Richmond manager Mark McQueen said. "He got off to a little bit of a shaky start, but I thought he did a good job of pitching out of some jams. I think, overall, he ended up putting us in position to give us a chance to win."

During the bottom of the fourth, the Bison's starting pitcher, Ryan Ebner, walked the bases loaded with no outs. After the first batter struck out, Spider first baseman Ryan Mallory drove a pitch deep into the right corner, but Bucknell's right fielder made a leaping catch at the wall. Massar was able to tag up and score on the play, however, and an RBI single by second baseman Derek Boliek in next at-bat plated right fielder Mike Mergenthaler to give Richmond a 3-2 lead.

During the fifth inning, Bucknell brought in pitcher Jack Boehm (1-0) in relief and he allowed just three hits with no walks or runs the rest of the game.

"[Boehm] did a great job of just shutting our offense down," McQueen said. "We didn't make any adjustments at all."

Bucknell added an insurance run during the ninth off reliever Chris Bates with an RBI single hit by pinch hitter Russell Seidell. The Spiders followed by going down in order during the bottom of the ninth.

Since the Spiders (3-4) won on Friday, tomorrow's rubber match with Bucknell (1-5) at 1 p.m. at Pitt Field will decide the winner of the series.

Game Notes:

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Richmond designated hitter Billy Barber was replaced by Chris Crowell after the second inning. "[Barber's] had a problem with his heel and he thought he was ready, then he took off running [for first] and he said he heard something pop, so I'm not sure what it is yet," said McQueen. ...During the bottom of the second, Bucknell's catcher attempted to pick off a runner at first, but his hand hit the umpire's mask on the throw. The game was stopped momentarily as the training staff looked at his hand.

Contact reporter David Weissman at

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