The Collegian
Friday, June 21, 2024

Spiders win 17-10 over Norfolk State Spartans

Graduate infielder Jake Topolski during the April 23 game against Norfolk State University. Courtesy of Richmond Athletics.
Graduate infielder Jake Topolski during the April 23 game against Norfolk State University. Courtesy of Richmond Athletics.

The University of Richmond baseball team secured a much-needed bounce-back win against the Norfolk State University Spartans by a score of 17-10 on April 23.

After dropping two of three games and scoring merely 13 runs over the weekend on the road against the Davidson College Wildcats, the Spiders’ offense could not be stopped. Additionally, UR was able to find some consistency from its pitching staff, surrendering only three runs in the first six innings of play thanks to excellent outings from sophomore Chase Topolski and junior Matthew Anderson. 

The Spartans offense was quick to make noise, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning thanks to a two-run home run and a fielder’s choice double play. 

However, UR’s offense was quick to respond in the bottom half of the inning, scoring four runs of their own thanks to a 2 RBI double from graduate second baseman Jake Topolski, an RBI fielder’s choice from redshirt first-year catcher RJ Rickabaugh and an RBI double from redshirt first-year third baseman Aidan O’Keefe. 

After a shaky first inning, Chase Topolski would settle in and go on to blank the Spartans in the second, third and fourth innings, allowing just three baserunners in that span. UR Head Coach Mik Aoki was grateful to see Topolski have a solid performance amidst a season riddled with injuries and setbacks.

“We haven’t really had an opportunity to get him up there and see him settle in,” Aoki said. “He had a rough first inning, but his next two or three were really good. It was nice to see him get the opportunity to pitch a little bit.”

The Spiders’ offense continued to erupt. Jake Topolski would tally three more RBIs in the second inning thanks to a three-run home run to dead center, making the score 7-3. UR stayed hot in the third inning, scoring six more runs with  a grand slam to center field off the bat of first-year designated hitter Jack Arcamone and a pair of RBI singles. 

“It was unexpected,” Arcamone shared. “I just swung the bat and watched it fly. As we all know, the ball flies at Pitt Field. It felt good, it was my first [home run] in a while.”

In the top of the fifth inning, Aoki made the call to the bullpen, looking to Matthew Anderson. Anderson pitched two innings of no-hit baseball, allowing just one baserunner due to an error from first-year third baseman Aidan O’Keefe. 

The Spiders would go on to score two more runs in the fifth inning and two more in the eighth inning. UR’s bullpen surrendered seven total runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. However, the Spartans’ attempt to rally was too little too late, as UR was able to put the game away by a score of 17-10. 

Anderson was credited with the win and NSU’s starting pitcher was given the loss after tossing four innings, allowing 14 hits, 13 earned runs and 2 walks on 105 pitches. 

With just under a month until the A-10 tournament and sitting just one game behind the leading Saint Louis University Billikens, Aoki is trying to keep the momentum going.

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“The conference is really bunched together, so it’s important to have a good weekend against St. Bonaventure,” Aoki said. “I think we’ve got our work cut out for us, but I feel good about where our team is.”

With the win, the Spiders move to a record of 18-23 heading into a weekend matchup on the road against the St. Bonaventure University Bonnies. 

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

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