Richmond rides strong pitching effort to win over Bucknell

Sophomore Jacob Mayers fired a complete-game five-hitter to lead the Richmond baseball team past Bucknell, 4-2, Friday afternoon in the opener of a weekend series at Pitt Field.

Freshman 3B Nick Poulos finished the day two-for-three with an RBI and the Douglas Freeman High product triggered the game-ending double play after the Bison had loaded the bases with one out in the ninth inning. The victory is Richmond’s second-consecutive and gets the Spiders to 3-3 overall.

Mayers, the reigning A-10 Player of the Week, fired Richmond’s first complete game since former Spider ace Ian Marshall went the distance to beat Charlotte 6-4 late last season.

The sophomore from nearby Hanover High gave up a solo homers in the first and second innings, but pitched seven innings of shutout ball after that to pick up his first career win (1-0). He fanned four, walked one and allowed just five hits.

The Spiders scored three times in the decisive fourth inning to take the lead for good with the big blow coming from senior RF Mike Mergenthaler, who ripped a two-out single to left field scoring Matt Zink and Poulos. That was after the Spiders capitalized on a Bucknell error to tie the game at 2-2.

Mayers, Poulos and Derek Boliek each had two of Richmond’s nine hits.

Bucknell (0-5) put together its only significant threat in the ninth as Scott Reed got things started with a lead-off single. Mayers then hit Dave Duffett and an error followed to load the bases.

But pinch-hitter Travis Clark lined a ball up the third-base line, it was snared out of the air by Poulos, who stepped on third for the unassisted game-clinching double play.

Richmond, which played 21 games last season decided by two runs or less, has already had already had four in its first six games of 2011.

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