Richmond sweeps Falcon baseball

Zane Miller and Zane Miller

The Falcon baseball team was swept by the Richmond Spiders, losing 4-3 and 16-2 in a Sunday doubleheader, followed by an 8-6 loss on Monday.

Due to weather on Friday and Saturday, the first two games of the series were moved to Sunday for a doubleheader, while the third game originally scheduled for Sunday was moved to Monday to wrap up the series.

The first game on Sunday would see Richmond jump out to an early advantage, with four runs coming in the first inning. Despite the tough start, the Falcons still managed to cut the lead in half in the second as senior designated hitter Joe McGuinness hit an RBI sacrifice fly and senior third baseman Gama Martinez drove in an RBI single to make it 4-2. The team would trim down the lead further in the sixth inning, with an RBI double from catcher Jeff Scott, but it wouldn’t be enough as both teams would get shut out for the remainder of the game, allowing Richmond to hang on for the 4-3 win.

Richmond sophomore starting pitcher Tim Miller earned the win, going five innings allowing two earned runs on four hits and a walk along with a hit by pitch, while Falcons junior starter Chase Antle took the loss, giving up four earned runs on five hits, a pair of walks and a hit by pitch over 1 ⅓ innings. Richmond senior reliever Layne Looney grabbed his first save of the season.

“I thought the first game of the day was just a great college game,” Falcons head coach Danny Schmitz said. “We did a lot of things really well but couldn’t get the key hit to tie the game. We got behind early in the second game, and it quickly got out of hand.”

In the second game, Richmond took the lead early as senior left fielder DJ Lee hit an RBI double and senior designated hitter Tyler Plantier got an RBI single in the first inning to go up 2-0. The Falcons would cut the lead in half in the third as senior second baseman Riley Minorik hit an RBI double, but Richmond would respond with a seven-run bottom of the third, the biggest play of which was a three-RBI triple from Lee.

In the fourth, Richmond would extend their lead out further as they had RBI doubles from freshman third baseman Justin Meyer and junior shortstop Daniel Little, as well as an RBI single from Lee to make it a 12-1 game. The fifth saw Falcons junior center fielder Jake Wilson hit an RBI groundout, but that would be all the offense the team would get as Richmond finished with an RBI in the fifth from senior catcher AJ Kloehn and a three-run sixth inning to go on to the 16-2 victory. Lee tacked on two more RBIs for a total of seven on the game.

On Monday, Richmond began the afternoon with a first-inning lead, as junior first baseman Justin Cook, senior Sage Bruhl and junior center fielder Anthony Forte each got RBIs to give Richmond a 3-0 lead. They would add onto their lead in the second with a two-RBI single from Forte for a 5-0 lead early.

However, the Falcons would fight back in the fourth, as freshman third baseman Ryan Johnston hit a bases-clearing double with the bases loaded to make it a 5-3 game. Richmond eventually restored the advantage in the sixth, as Cook hit a three-run homer, the first home run given up by the Falcons this season. While the Falcons came back with a furious charge in the ninth, with freshman designated hitter Mike Malewitz driving in an RBI single and senior first baseman Cam Daugherty hitting a two-run homer, the first home run for the Falcons this season. While the team would bring the tying run up to the plate, it wouldn’t be enough as Richmond held on to win it 8-6 and claim the series sweep.

Richmond freshman pitcher Garrett Aylor picked up the win, going two innings in relief with just one hit given up. Falcons freshman pitcher Tyler Hays took the loss, going four innings with five earned runs on six hits and six walks.

The Falcons will next play on Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon against the Belmont Bruins.