By Mike DeSanto
The St. Bonaventure University baseball team picked up the win in its series opener against the Richmond Spiders, winning 7-2.
“I thought we just totally out played them, and that’s a fully funded, southern team,” Bonnies head coach Larry Sudbrook said. “We out hit them, we out pitched them, we out fielded them, so I’m definitely pleased with the win.
Junior Aaron Phillips pulled double duty for the Bonnies (23-16, 13-6 A10), contributing both on the mound and at the plate. Phillips drove in three runs on three hits, while also allowing two runs on three hits and five walks over seven innings on the mound, improving to 8-0 on the season.
“The most wins a Bonaventure pitcher has ever had in a year, to my recollection, is nine,” Sudbrook said. “He’s got two more starts in the regular season and he’s got, probably, a playoff start. So he’s got a chance to even break a school record in wins. I have to believe, even if he lost his last start against Fordham, he’d be a first-team all-Atlantic 10 pitcher, maybe even the Pitcher of the Year in the conference.”
The Bonnies took control of the offense beginning in the third, scoring five runs between the third, fourth and fifth. Phillips drove home a pair in the third on a double to left center, while junior third baseman David “Bubba” Hollins followed with a solo home run in the fourth.
The Spiders (14-29, 5-11 A10) broke up Phillips’ no-hit bid and the shutout in the top of the fifth when sophomore catcher Kyle Schmidt, who had doubled to open the inning, scored on a sacrifice groundout from sophomore second baseman Zach Kurtz.
However, the Bonnies responded in the bottom of the fifth with two runs on a double by junior right fielder Dave Vaccaro and then a sacrifice fly out for Hollins.
Schmidt would provide the Spiders their only other run in the sixth, flying out to left field and scoring junior right fielder Daniel Brumbaugh.
A throwing error in the seventh and a fielder’s choice in the eighth brought home a couple of insurance runs for the Bonnies, who set down the Spiders in the ninth to secure the win.
Redshirt junior Robbie Baker started on the mound for the Spiders, going six-and-two-thirds innings and surrendering six runs (five earned) on 12 hits and one walk.
Sudbrook said after this win, he is confident that the Bonnies will be going to the Atlantic 10 tournament.
“I don’t know if it mathematically, 100 percent, but I just can’t see a way we don’t get in at this point,” Sudbrook said. “If we lost the last five games, we’d be 13-11. Since they went to seven teams getting in the tournament in 2014, no team with 13 wins has ever not made it.”
The Bonnies will continue their series with the Spiders Saturday at noon.