Right-handed pitcher Jacob Mayers threw a career-high 10 complete innings on Friday afternoon in Richmond's 2-1 walk-off victory over Xavier University. Mayers allowed just two hits and struck out 11 of the 36 batters he faced.
Although he had already pitched nine innings, Mayers was eager to get back on the mound for the tenth when the game headed into extra innings tied, 1-1.
"I told coach [Mark McQueen] I'd go out there," Mayers said. "I'd never done it before, but my arm felt amazing. I had a lot of confidence. I knew I was going to get the job done."
McQueen also had confidence in Mayers's ability to successfully pitch into the tenth.
"Jake was unbelievable on the mound," McQueen said. "That was one of the best pitching performances I've seen at the collegiate level.
"He was in command the whole day. He felt great. He thought he had one more. [His mechanics] in the tenth looked just like he did in the first, so I let him go out there."
The game remained scoreless until the top of the third when Xavier's Daniel Rod batted in the Musketeers only run. The Spiders answered back in the sixth with a bases-loaded single from freshman Eric Flanagan to score senior Chris Cowell.
Sophomore Adam Forrer hit the game-winning single, Forrer's only hit in five at-bats, off Xavier closer Seth Willoughby in the bottom of the tenth. Coming into Friday's game Willoughby boasted a 0.55 ERA, but left after the Spiders got three hits off him, and he was charged with the loss.
"It felt really good," Forrer said. "I struggled most of the day at the plate so it was nice to finish strong, get the bat on the ball and get some good contact. Hopefully that's the boost we need to go into the weekend and hopefully go into tomorrow with the same intensity."
The win was the first game in Richmond's scheduled three-game series with Xavier this weekend.
After Forrer's single, the Spiders exploded from the dugout to celebrate the win, but Forrer credited the team's success to Mayers.
"I think pitching ten innings is more impressive than going one for five," Forrer said.
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The Spiders (16-11, 3-1) will continue their series on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. with freshman Zak Sterling getting the start for the Spiders.
Contact staff writer Erin Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org
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