The Collegian
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Spiders fall to Longwood University

<p>Head coach Mik Aoki during the April 16 game against Longwood University. Courtesy of Richmond Athletics.</p>

Head coach Mik Aoki during the April 16 game against Longwood University. Courtesy of Richmond Athletics.

On a day where nothing seemed to work, the University of Richmond baseball team lost by a score of 17-5 to the Longwood University, falling to a record of 16-21 on the season. 

Coming off of a weekend series sweep against George Washington University where the Spiders surrendered merely 12 runs in three games, UR pitchers struggled to find an answer for Longwood’s offense. 

Head Coach Mik Aoki believed the issues came from a lack of strikes.

“I don’t know how many we walked today, but it probably had to have been over 10,” Aoki said. “You don’t win very many games when you walk that many people.”

The Lancers jumped on the Spiders’ redshirt junior starting pitcher, Vincent Corso, scoring two runs in the first inning. The bases were loaded quickly after a pair of walks and a single. Runners made it home after a sacrifice fly to center field and a ground ball single. 

After blanking the Spiders in the bottom of the first inning, the Lancers came out hot once again, tallying six runs in the bottom of the second inning off of Corso, redshirt first-year Davis Wallon and junior Matthew Anderson. 

The Spiders answered in the bottom of the second inning, scoring a run off of an RBI double by junior infielder Connor Larson, set up by an infield single from redshirt first-year infielder Aiden O’Keefe, making the score 8-1.

The Spiders gave up two more runs in the top of the third inning but scored two of their own in the bottom of the inning, after Longwood’s starter loaded the bases and gave up back-to-back RBIs. 

Spider catcher Zach Lass was responsible for an RBI single, and sophomore infielder Jordan Jaffe walked in a run to make the score 10-3. With no outs and the bases loaded, Longwood looked to another pitcher out of the bullpen. He struck out the first three batters he saw, preventing any chance of a Spider rally. 

The Spiders would go on to give up six runs in the fourth inning and one run in the fifth inning, making the score 17-3 in favor of the Lancers. UR scored one run in the bottom of the fifth inning on a passed ball, as Lass reached home plate. 

In the last two innings, UR pitchers Jake Young, a graduate student, and junior Jason Shockley combined for two innings of scoreless and hitless relief.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, junior pitcher Esteban Rodriguez took a walk as a pinch hitter to score the Spiders’ fifth and final run, making the final score 17-5.

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UR used seven pitchers before electing to accept the mercy rule after the seventh inning. The Spiders’ starter, Corso, was credited with the loss after going 1.1 innings and allowing 6 earned runs. It was his sixth start and twelfth appearance for the Spiders this season. 

“We just have to compete in the strike zone better, and I don’t think that’s a mystery to anyone on the team,” Aoki said. “It’s not like they’re intentionally misfiring, they’re just misfiring.”

The Spiders have an upcoming three-game weekend series on the road against the Davidson College Wildcats, taking place from April 19 to April 21.

Contact sports writer Brian Clark at brian.clark@richmond.edu

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