Spiders Down Hokies
Tech falls short after battling back from 9-0 deficit
May 7, 2003

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Nationally-ranked Richmond gave head baseball coach Ron Atkins his 600th career coaching victory with a 15-12 win over Virginia Tech at English Field on Wednesday. The victory gives Atkins a 600-414-4 overall record in 19 seasons at UR.

The milestone win didn't come easy despite the fact the Spiders jumped to a 9-0 lead. Tech was able to cut Richmond's lead to one run on two different occasions, but the Hokies could never grab the lead.

Richmond, 40-9 and ranked as high as 13th in the national polls, scored a run in the first inning, then put eight runs on the board in the second. The big blast in the second inning was a three-run homer by right fielder Vito Chiaravalloti. The Spiders also got two-run singles from center fielder Bryan Pritz and shortstop David Reaver in the inning.

Tech (30-17) began fighting back with a solo home run by freshman left fielder Sheldon Adams (Big Stone Gap, Va.) in the bottom of the second. The Hokies added four runs in the third inning on two-run singles by center fielder Brad Bauder (Ashburn, Va.) and freshman pinch-hitter Joel Miller (Dumfries, Va.). An RBI-single by second baseman Marc Tugwell (Springfield, Va.) and a two-run single by designated hitter David McDonald (Phoenix, Ariz.) pulled the Hokies within a run at 9-8 in the fourth inning.

Chiaravalloti gave Richmond a 10-8 lead with his second homer of the game, a solo shot in the fifth. UR designated hitter Ben Zeskind added another run with a single in the sixth inning and Spider third baseman David Thomas blasted a two-run homer in the top of the seventh to put the visitors up 13-8.

The Hokies responded with a two-run double by Tugwell in the bottom of the seventh and a two-run single by third baseman Chris Stanton (Centreville, Va.) in the eighth to move back within a run. Richmond pushed across two big runs in the top of the ninth with the help of two walks, a run-scoring wild pitch and an infield single by Thomas. Tech made one last push - loading the bases with two outs in the bottom of the ninth - before a fly out to center field ended the game.

Reliever Tim Rice (4-2) got the victory for Richmond with four innings of relief. John Cronin worked the final 2 1/3 innings for his second save. Tech starter M.J. Hurley (2-3) lasted just 1 1/3 innings and took the loss. Tech used six pitchers in the game.

Tech out-hit the Spiders 17-14 in the game with McDonald going 3-for-3 with three walks, two runs batted in and one run scored. Tugwell also had three hits for the Hokies to go with three RBIs. Stanton, Bauder, Miller and shortstop Spencer Harris (Louisa, Ky.) had two hits each for Tech.

Reaver collected three hits in the game to become the Spiders' all-time leader in hits with 287. UR also got three hits from Chiaravalloti and Zeskind.

Tech is scheduled to play Radford in Blacksburg on Thursday at 3 p.m.