Ninth-Inning Home Runs Down BuccaneersMarch 15, 2008
By CSU Sports Information
CHARLESTON, S.C. Ė A late rally helped the CSU baseball team erase a five-run deficit, but two ninth-inning solo home runs gave Richmond a 7-5 victory on Saturday. Redshirt-freshman Nick Chinners led the Buccaneers with two runs batted in, both coming on a game-tying single in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Senior Cody Higgins got the start for CSU (6-10), going seven innings with eight hits, two walks and three strikeouts. He gave up five earned runs in the no-decision, giving him a 4.42 earned run average on the season. Closer Payton Tweddale, senior, allowed three hits and two runs in the ninth inning, picking up his second loss of the season.
Alex Hale pitched the final 2.1 innings for Richmond (6-10-1) and earned his fourth win of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth. Ian Marshall had a solid start for the Spiders on the mound, striking out nine while giving up two earned runs in 6.2 innings of work.
Richmond opened the scoring the top of the first inning when Hank Coogan hit a solo shot over the wall in left field. That margin held until the top of the fifth inning, when Ryan Metzroth singled through the left side to score Chris Cuppia from third to put the Spiders up 2-0.
Higgins kept the Richmond offense at bay for most of the first six innings, keeping the margin at two runs heading into the top of the seventh. But the Spiders mounted a two-out rally in the seventh to open up what had become a pitchersí duel. Coogan started with a single and Metzroth gave the visitors runners on the corners with another single that advanced Coogan to third. Billy Barber then stepped in and belted a three-run home run over the wall in left field to give Richmond a 5-0 lead.
Marshall shut down the Buccaneers over the first six innings, getting all nine of his strikeouts while allowing just two hits during that span. CSU finally found a chink in his armor in the bottom half of the seventh, helped by the speed of freshman Tom Burkett.
With one out, Burkett earned a free pass to first when he was hit by an errant Marshall pitch. His legs did the rest of the work, bringing him all the way home on a double to center field by freshman Tyler Thornburg. Two batters later, freshman Taylor Black ripped a double of his own that score Thornburg to cut the deficit to three runs.
Freshman Stew Brase pitched the top of the eighth for the Buccaneers, holding the Spiders scoreless to keep the home team within striking distance. CSU took advantage of the opportunity in the bottom half of the inning with three runs to tie the game.
Junior Kory Morian led off the inning with a single to right field and freshman Steve Antolik followed with another single to give the Bucs two men on with no outs. Attempting to pickoff Morian at second, the Spiders threw a ball into centerfield that advanced both runners into scoring position. Morian was driven in on a single by freshman Derek Smith that gave the Bucs runners on the corners with Antolik advancing to third.
Freshman Brantley Meier entered into the game to pinch run for Smith and advanced to second on a wild pitch, once again giving the home team two runners in scoring position with Richmond leading 5-3. Chinners then tied the game with a two-RBI single through the right side that gave him eight runs batted in this season.
CSUís all-time leader in career saves, Tweddale entered in the top of the ninth to face the heart of the Spidersí lineup. Coogan led off the inning with his second home run of the day, giving the lead back to the visitors. After a strikeout, Barber picked up his fourth RBI of the day with a solo shot over the wall in center field to give Richmond a two-run advantage.
The Bucs didnít have any more comebacks left as Hale sat the home teamís lineup down in order in the bottom of the ninth to seal the victory.
At 1 p.m. tomorrow, the two teams will play the third and final game of the series at Collins Park off of Dorchester Road in Charleston, S.C. Each squad has won a game in the series after CSU claimed an 11-7 victory in the opener.Related Item: Box Score