Richmond splits doubleheader with Northeastern

Mike Mergenthaler homered and drove in two runs, while Daniel Clark fired four scoreless innings of relief, helping lift Richmond to a 6-4 win over Northeastern in the finale of a three-game series at Pitt Field Saturday. The Huskies won the first game of the twinbill, 3-1.

Although having their seven-game winning streak snapped in Saturday’s first game, the Spiders (12-11-2) rebounded in the nightcap and won their second-consecutive weekend series.

Mergenthaler’s third inning solo homer stood as the game-winner, putting Richmond up 3-2 after Northeastern seized a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Senior starter Anthony Cafagna worked five innings and allowed eight hits and four runs (three earned) to record his second win (2-3). Clark finished it off by firing the final four innings with one hit and five strikeouts for his third save.

Richmond answered Northeastern’s (4-16) two-run first by scoring twice in the bottom half thanks to Billy Barber’s two-run double to the right-field gap. Mergenthaler’s team-leading third home run of the season made it 3-2 and the senior singled again in the fourth to make the score 5-2.

Jeff Dunlap singled home a pair of Huskies in the fifth, but Mike Small drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the fifth to give Richmond its two-run advantage back and Clark did the rest.

All three games in the series were decided by two runs and the Spiders are now 6-7-2 this season in games decided by two runs or less.

In Saturday’s first game, Andrew Leenhouts fired a seven-inning complete-game two-hitter as Richmond had its seven-game winning streak snapped, 3-1.

Although being limited to just two hits, Richmond (11-11-2) left the bases loaded in the second and brought the winning run to the plate in the seventh, but couldn’t push them across.

Matt Zink and Derek Boliek had each of Richmond’s hits and Boliek drove in the lone run as the Spiders tried to mount a seventh-inning rally.

Leenhouts fanned seven, walked four and picked up his first win of the season (1-3). Richmond rookie Chris Bates went 6.1 innings, allowed three runs with six punchouts and was hung the tough-luck loss (1-1).

Northeastern (4-15) jumped in front 1-0 in the first on a John Puttress RBI, expanded the lead to 2-0 in the fifth and tacked on an insurance run to take a 3-0 lead in the seventh.

Aaron Barbosa finished Saturday’s first game three-for-four and scored twice.

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