The Collegian
Friday, June 21, 2024

Spiders knock off Billikens to stay alive in A-10 Tournament

Freshman catcher Jack Arcamone and junior outfielder D.J. Pacheco during the May 22 game. Courtesy of Richmond Athletics.
Freshman catcher Jack Arcamone and junior outfielder D.J. Pacheco during the May 22 game. Courtesy of Richmond Athletics.

Two games into the Atlantic 10 Tournament and it has been all about the Spiders. 

The University of Richmond baseball team came to play in this year’s conference postseason tournament, winning its first game against The George Washington University on May 21 and now its second game against the top-seeded team in the bracket, Saint Louis University, in a 13-10 victory on May 22.

The Spiders got out to a solid start from the batter’s box, getting right to business in the top of the first inning with an early three-run lead. 

Graduate center fielder Aaron Whitley set the Spiders up for success as the team’s leadoff hitter. He singled in the first at-bat of the ballgame and graduate right fielder Phil Bernstein hit an RBI single soon after to get UR on the scoreboard. 

Next up, sophomore Jordan Jaffe hit a 2 RBI home run to extend the Spiders’ early lead to three runs, which put UR in the driver’s seat offensively against the number one seed. 

On the mound, junior right-handed pitcher Esteban Rodriguez struck out the first three batters of the game, only adding to the Spiders’ already cemented momentum. Rodriguez did not allow a hit through the first three innings of the game. 

First-year designated hitter Jack Arcamone picked up right where he left off in the Spiders’ first game of the tournament against the Colonials, as he hit his second home run of the tournament, this time around a three-run blast in the second inning to pad UR’s lead, 6-0. 

Rodriguez did allow a two-run home run in the fourth inning to give up the shutout he was working on, but the Spiders were still in control, rattling off seven runs across the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. 

In the fifth inning, Jaffe hit his second home run of the game, driving in two more runs. Junior shortstop Connor Larson also hit a home run, which brought the Spiders’ lead to 9-2 in the sixth inning. 

Junior left-handed pitcher Brian Reinke took over for Rodriguez in the bottom of the sixth. Reinke only lasted 0.1 innings as he allowed for 3 earned runs in his short time pitching. 

Unfortunately for the Spiders, first-year right-handed pitcher Jackson Hinchliffe, who replaced Reinke, only lasted 1.1 innings and also allowed 3 earned runs. 

Before that, the Spiders proved they had a few more jolts in them, as UR scored four runs in the top of the seventh. Three of those four runs came by way of Arcamone’s bat, as he hit his second home run of the game and third of the tournament. But, SLU’s three knocks in the bottom half of the seventh did decrease the deficit to 13-8. 

Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter

The Billikens’ went on to score two more runs, but redshirt junior left-handed pitcher Cole Hentschel was able to pick up the save on the mound, and with that, a Spiders victory was secured. 

Rodriguez picked up his fifth win of the year, finishing the day with 6 strikeouts, while Hentschel totaled 7 strikeouts and the save in just 2.1 innings. 

Offensively, the Spiders had another strong outing, with UR only adding to its already impressive totals at the plate during the tournament. With their two home runs apiece, Jaffe finished with 5 RBIs and 4 runs and Arcamone finished with 6 RBIs and 2 runs. 

“We can become a perennial power inside of the A-10,” UR Head Coach Mik Aoki said in a press conference back on May 15. “I think regionally we can be really good.” 

With this win, the Spiders secured their spot in the A-10 Tournament semifinals. They will take on Virginia Commonwealth University at 3 p.m. on May 22. 

Contact sports editor Jimmy James at jimmy.james@richmond.edu

Support independent student media

You can make a tax-deductible donation by clicking the button below, which takes you to our secure PayPal account. The page is set up to receive contributions in whatever amount you designate. We look forward to using the money we raise to further our mission of providing honest and accurate information to students, faculty, staff, alumni and others in the general public.

Donate Now