Richmond nips Bonnies
Billy Barber ripped a two-out walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth as Richmond rallied from a run down and beat St. Bonaventure, 4-3, Saturday at Pitt Field. Barber’s single capped a wild afternoon that saw the Spiders take a no-hitter into the eighth inning and finish with a combined one-hitter.
Richmond entered the ninth trailing 3-2 and after Bona reliever Brad Steinbach retired the first two Spiders in the ninth, Matt Zink triggered the rally by drawing a walk. He moved to third on a wild pitch and scored the tying thanks to Mike Mergenthaler’s single up the middle.
Pinch-hitter Chris Cowell kept the inning alive with his single to left, and Barber finished it off by ripping a 1-0 offering to right field for the winner.
Winners of two-straight and 10 of its last 11, Richmond improved to 14-11-2 overall and 2-0 in the Atlantic 10. The Bonnies slipped to 6-13, 0-2.
The late-game heroics by the offense preserved the one-hit effort fired by three Spider pitchers on the afternoon. Richmond took the no-hitter into the eighth inning and junior Anthony Cafagna picked up the win (3-3) after firing the final three frames, allowing one run, one hit with two strikeouts.
Freshman lefty Chris Bates had a no-hit bid working through five innings before an hour-long rain delay halted the action. Bates fanned two, walked two and turned the 2-0 lead over to his bullpen after the delay.
After walking the bases loaded in the top of the sixth, Nick Brennen reached on an error that scored a run and Bona drew even on Ryan Skellie’s fielders’ choice. But reliever Shawn O’Neill rolled a 4-6-3 double-play to keep the game tied.
The Bonnies manufactured the go-ahead run in the eighth with a walk, a sacrifice bunt and a passed ball that moved Brad Steinbach to third. Billy Urban’s single to left field ended the no-hit bid and put the visitors in front for the first time in the series.
Cael Johnson worked two scoreless innings to preserve the 3-2 advantage, but it unraveled for Steinbach with two outs in the ninth inning and he absorbed the loss (0-1).
Richmond gave Bates an early lead as Mergenthaler singled home Zink in the first inning and Nick Poulos ripped an RBI single to score Bryan Conway in the second.
Mergenthaler and Barber each had two of Richmond’s 10 hits.