RICHMOND, Va. - The William and Mary baseball team defeated Richmond, 9-5, on Tuesday afternoon at Pitt Field. Behind freshman first baseman Michael Katz's seventh-inning grand slam, the College pulled away from the hometown Spiders in the mid-week affair. The win improved W&M to 17-10 overall, while Richmond dropped to 13-9 on the year.
At the plate, Katz went 2-for-5 with five RBIs and two home runs to lead the Tribe. Junior center fielder Ryan Brown (1-for-4) and classmate Ryan Williams (1-for-5) each recorded an RBI and a run scored. Rounding out the W&M offensive output was senior catcher Sean Aiken, who was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Junior RHP Brett Koehler (3-0) earned the victory, as he allowed four earned runs on six hits in his six innings pitched. Junior reliever Ryan Williams tallied his first save of the season as he worked 2.1 innings of scoreless relief, allowing no hits. Andrew Blum (3-1) took the loss for the Spiders, giving up five runs in five innings of action.
The Tribe struck first with four runs in the second inning. After senior Stephen Arcure and freshman Josh Smith led the frame off with back-to-back walks, Williams plated Arcure with a single through the left side. Aiken then gave the Green and Gold a 2-0 lead after driving in Smith on a single to left center field. After Brown plated Williams on a fielder's choice, Aiken scored the inning's fourth run as he advanced home on an errant pick-off throw to first from UR's Blum.
In the bottom of the third, Richmond sophomore shortstop Mike Small got the Spiders on the board after his two-out single to center field pushed across junior center fielder Matt Zink, and after three innings of play, W&M owned a 4-1 advantage.
W&M extended its lead to 5-1 in the top of the fifth when Katz belted a Blum offering over the left center field wall for his third home run of the year.
Richmond countered W&M's long ball in the fifth with two runs of its own in the bottom of the frame. Zink plated freshman third baseman Joey Vecchione on a double down the left field line for the Spiders' second run of the afternoon. After the Spiders made the score 5-3, senior catcher Sean Aiken brought the inning to a close after he threw out Zink trying to steal third.
The Spiders inched to within a run at 5-4 on senior right fielder Phil Ruzbarsky's home run to right center field in the bottom of the sixth.
With one swing of the bat, W&M pushed its lead to 9-4 in the top half of the seventh. With no outs and the bases loaded, Katz placed junior RHP Ray Harron's pitch well over the left field wall for a bases clearing grand slam. The Tribe loaded the bases in the inning on a pair of hit by pitches and a bunt single by Ryan Brown.
Once again, the Spiders answered W&M's four-run top half with a run of its own in the bottom half. With two outs, Zink drove in Gadd on a single through the left side, making the score 9-5 Tribe. In his fourth relief appearance of the season, Williams shut the door, pitching 2.1 innings of scoreless baseball. He allowed just one base runner on a walk, while striking out two.
Tribe baseball returns to action Friday, March 30, as it welcomes the Towson Tigers to Plumeri Park for a three-game CAA series. Friday's first pitch from Williamsburg is scheduled for 7 p.m. Fans can follow the action online at TribeAthletics.com with live audio and stats.