The Collegian
Saturday, February 24, 2024

Baseball’s offense shines in weekend games

<p>Graduate outfielder Christian Beal swing the bat at the Feb. 26 game against Sacred Heart University.</p>

Graduate outfielder Christian Beal swing the bat at the Feb. 26 game against Sacred Heart University.

The University of Richmond baseball team dominated this weekend against Fairfield’s Sacred Heart University, racking up 32 runs in two games. 

The two victories against SHU, who are 0-5, continued UR’s six-game winning streak, bringing the Spiders’ record to 6-1. 

The UR offense started off hot on Saturday with two runs in the first inning. Sophomore Alden Mathes hit a triple allowing graduate student Christian Beal to cross the plate. Freshman Jake Elbeery continued his hitting streak and singled, helping Mathes score. 

Graduate student Brock Weirather threw a perfect game until the fifth inning, when he walked a SHU batter. Weirather allowed only two hits until he was relieved in the seventh by freshman Matthew Anderson in his first collegiate appearance. 

The Spiders scored another two runs in the third, but the offense took control starting in the fifth, when   13 batters came to the plate and seven players scored. SHU had a single run in the top of the sixth.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, sophomore Zach Lass doubled to start the inning. Beal followed with another double that brought Lass across the plate. Mathes hit the third double of the inning to bring Beal home.

Elbeery and sophomore Jared Sprague-Lott hit back-to-back singles helping Mathes score. Freshman D.J. Pacheco hit the fourth double of the inning — and his first collegiate hit — as Elbeery jogged home. Junior Johnny Hipsman continued the inning with a double to left center to drive in  Sprague-Lott and Pacheco. 

Hipsman scored when Lass hit a single to left field. Mathes socked another triple, scoring Lass and Beal. Senior Dom Toso’s single brought home Mathes for the final run of the inning, bringing the Spiders lead 21-1.

The SHU Pioneers rotated through five pitchers throughout the game compared to the Spiders’ three. Anderson retired the final three batters in a row to secure the win.

The final score of  23-2 made it the Spiders’ highest-scoring game since a 30-2 victory over Yale University in 2015.

The offense remained potent in Sunday’s 9-3 victory. 

Mathes started and retired four straight batters until a two-run homer by SHU batter Dante D’amore in the top of the second.

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UR fought back against the Pioneers in the third inning when Pacheco singled down the middle. Beal’s double moved Pacheco to third. Mathes grounded out to shortstop, allowing Pacheco to cross the plate and advance Beal to third. Toso tied the game with a run batted in single to left field, driving Beal home. Toso slammed a three-run homer to right-center field in the bottom of the fifth,  sending Beal and Mathes home and putting the Spiders ahead 5-2. 

“Dom had great at-bats,” head coach Tracy Woodson said. “Three of his four RBI hits were with two outs. He was a tough out today.”

The Spiders got another two runs in the seventh when Beal crossed the plate on a single from Toso, who later scored on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Chase Conklin. 

Senior Brenden Argomaniz took the mound for Mathes in the eighth inning and allowed one run for SHU, striking out the final batter of the inning. 

Freshman Rob Ready replaced Argomaniz for the top of the ninth, throwing only eight pitches to retire the side.

UR’s two final runs came in the bottom of the eighth when Pacheco scored on an RBI single by Toso, who came home on a single by Sprague-Lott. 

The Spiders take on James Madison University next at 1:30 p.m. on March 2 at UR’s Pitt Field. 

Contact sports writer Lucia Helmers at lucia.helmers@richmond.edu

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