The Collegian
Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Baseball wins first A-10 series of the season

Redshirt sophomore infielder Jordan Jaffe during the March 29 game against George Mason University. Courtesy of Richmond Athletics.
Redshirt sophomore infielder Jordan Jaffe during the March 29 game against George Mason University. Courtesy of Richmond Athletics.

The University of Richmond baseball team played in a three-game series against George Mason University from March 29 to March 31 at Pitt Field. 

The first game kicked off on Friday. At the top of the first inning, GMU was unable to complete any runs. At the bottom of the inning, UR faced the same fate.

The third inning saw George Mason score the first run of the game, leaving the Spiders down 1-0.

At the top of the fifth, George Mason extended its lead by two. At the bottom of the inning UR scored its first run of the game after a triple hit by redshirt first-year infielder Aidan O’Keefe brought in another run by graduate infielder Jake Topolski. O’Keefe then secured another run for UR, bringing the score to 3-2.

The next run of the game came in the bottom of the eighth inning, by UR redshirt sophomore infielder Jordan Jaffe, who tied the game. 

At the top of the ninth inning, GMU went straight back to work, completing two runs.

The Spiders fought back during the bottom of the inning, with a run from redshirt first-year outfielder and right-handed pitcher Jackson Kraemer. Soon after, Topolski scored to tie the game, followed by O'Keefe, bringing the final score to 6-5. 

During Saturday's game, the Spiders got the scoring started first with a home run from graduate outfielder Aaron Whitley. The next four runs were scored at the top of the fourth inning by George Mason. 

Junior left-handed pitcher Brian Reinke, who pitched for the first three innings, was subbed out for graduate right-handed pitcher Logan Ymker. At the bottom of the fourth, graduate outfielder Phil Bernstein completed the Spiders’ only run of the inning. 

During the fifth inning, GMU added five runs to its lead, bringing the Patriots to a total of nine runs. In the middle of the inning, Bernstein was subbed out for junior right-handed pitcher Matthew Anderson. 

At the top of the sixth inning, George Mason remained dominant, completing seven runs. During the middle of the inning Anderson was subbed out for graduate right-handed pitcher Ethan Sannes. 

At the bottom of the inning, Whitley hit his second home run of the afternoon, bringing UR’s score to three. Junior outfielder DJ Pacheco and junior catcher Jason Shockley scored next for the Spiders

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The Spiders, attempting a comeback, adding five runs during the seventh inning. First-year infielder Joey Wilga scored first after a double by Jaffe. First-year infielder Nick Lorenzo, Jaffe, Bernstein and first-year catcher Jack Arcamone also completed runs during the inning. 

The ninth inning saw the Spiders maintain the momentum they created in the eighth by with six more runs, the last of which was scored by junior infielder Connor Larson, who after a double from redshirt first-year RJ Rickabaugh, tied the score 16-16 and took the game into the tenth inning. 

At the top of the tenth, redshirt junior left-handed pitcher Harrison Clifton was in for the Spiders. After a GMU base runner was able to make it to third base, Clifton was subbed out for redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Dane Armson. Armson was then able to force GMU’s third out. 

The bottom of the tenth inning saw O’Keefe complete the game winning run for the Spiders, leaving a final score of 17-16. 

In the last game of the series, GMU scored the first three runs, with one brought in during the first inning and two more added during the fifth.

The Spiders were able to get on the board at the bottom of the fifth after a home run by Wilga. Larson and Whitley also completed runs during this inning, making the score 4-3. 

George Mason went on to score another run in the fifth inning, two in the seventh and another in the eighth. 

The Spiders did not score again until the eighth inning, when a double by Larson led to Topolski and first-year right-handed pitcher Jackson Hinchliffe each completing a run. 

The game went into the ninth inning with the Spiders down 9-6. Though GMU was unable to score during the top of the inning, three consecutive UR strikeouts gave the Patriots the win. 

“It’s good, we won the series,” UR Head Coach Mik Aoki said in a postgame interview. “The first A-10 weekend of the year. It’s always kind of tough to lose on Sundays because it gives a little bitter taste at the end of the weekend, but when it’s all said and done, we won two out of three.” 

Aoki also talked about how his team will be able to handle the remainder of the A-10 schedule. 

“We’re young from an experiential standpoint, even though we might be a little bit older biologically speaking,” he said. “But I think the goal is just for us to try to be the best version of the Richmond Spiders that we can be, and if we can do that, I feel pretty good about where we’ll land.” 

Contact sports writer Erica Rogers at erica.rogers@richmond.edu.

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