Bucknell takes series with Spiders

Richmond brought the winning run to the plate in the ninth inning, but Bucknell avoided the threat and won another close game at Pitt Field, 4-3, Sunday afternoon in the rubber-match of a weekend series. Freshman SS Mike Small was three-for-four with an RBI for the Spiders.

Bucknell DH Casey Vanderbeck broke the 3-3 tie in the top of the ninth inning, lifting a 1-0 pitch over the right-field wall to lead off the frame. The Bison went down in order after that, and Mike Mergenthaler got things going for Richmond in the bottom half with his one-out single.

Jacob Mayers (Mechanicsville, Va./Hanover HS) and Bret Williams both had shots to move Mergenthaler, but Mayers’ deep fly to right was tracked down in the gap and Williams laser to the left-center field gap was snared on the run for the final out.

The Spiders were 4-2 winners Friday, but the Bison rallied for a 5-3 win Saturday and took the series with Sunday’s 4-3 squeaker.

After Bucknell (2-5) struck for a 3-0 lead in the fifth, Richmond (3-5) carved into the lead with two in the bottom of the fifth. Rookies Nick Poulos (Richmond, Va./Douglas Freeman HS) and Small got the rally started with back-to-back one-out singles. Robby Massar’s single scored Poulous and Small came home thanks a Mayers RBI single.

The Spiders drew even in the sixth when Small singled home Phil Ruzbarsky.

Small had a career-best three hits, while Ruzbarsky, Mayers and Mergenthaler each had two as the Spiders out-hit the Bison 12-10. Richmond left 10 runners stranded.

Freshman Andrew Brockett gave the Spiders 6.2 innings and scattered eight hits with three runs, one walk and six strikeouts. He turned a 3-3 game over to the bullpen with one out in the seventh and junior Daniel Clark got the final out with the go-ahead run 90-feet away.

Fellow freshman Andrew Blum was tagged the loss, pitching 1.2 innings and allowing the Vanderbeck homer in the ninth. Vanderbeck finished with three hits and scored three times.

Doug Shribman’s solo homer to straightaway center in the fourth got the scoring started for Bucknell, and Bob Donato followed with a two-run blast to right in the fifth inning.

Of Bucknell’s 11 runs in the weekend series, eight were scored via the long ball.

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