The University of Richmond club baseball team played rival VCU on April 5 at Pitt Field in a doubleheader series. The Spiders won both games handily, finishing 17-2 and 11-5, respectively. 

Despite heavy rain and wind, the Spiders defeated the Rams in the first game after playing just four innings, cutting the game short because of a ten-run mercy rule. Every batter recorded a hit to contribute to the high-scoring game. First-year Michael Fitzgerald had a triple batting in two runs. 

In the second game of the day, the teams were able to get six innings in before the darkness made it difficult to play, but the Spiders were successful again, scoring 11 runs against VCU’s five. Senior Scott Merritt had a sharp hit out to left field, falling just short of a home run. 

The team captains appoint an MVP after each game day, and senior David Turley received the honor for his performance in the doubleheader. 

“David has had incredible performances over the year, and you can tell he has a love for the game," said club president Alex Sayles, a senior. "He is an incredible teammate and is the perfect example of what Richmond baseball is all about.” 

Club vice president Jacob Walling, junior, echoed this sentiment.

“On Friday, [Turley] pulled into X-lot, in the midst of the pouring rain and overcast sky, screaming and yelling excitedly to get everyone hype for the game," Walling said. "This kid really just wants to play baseball.” 

Sayles and Walling both said that Turley was a great leadoff hitter, and often gets on base during his first at-bat each game. 

UR's club baseball team is entirely student-led. The team had a vacillating roster until Sayles established better retention rates for practices and games by creating a familial-like atmosphere and appealing to a wide variety of students on campus, Walling said. 

Sayles said he will be appointing Walling to take on the role of president after Sayles graduates. 

Walling has big plans for the future, he said, including his hopes to establish club baseball as part of the National Club Baseball Association, which would provide opportunities to play more games against more universities. 

Walling hopes that club baseball will soon be able to compete on the same level as more competitive club teams, such as Quidditch and ultimate frisbee, he said. 

The team will continue to practice two days per week and play college club teams such as Longwood University, University of Virginia and VCU, Walling said. The team has played eight games this year, and its record stands at 6-2.

Contact sports writer Grace Mittl at grace.mittl@richmond.edu