BRONX, N.Y. – University of Dayton baseball advanced to the Atlantic 10 Championship Finals for the first time after defeating Richmond, 9-5, on Friday afternoon at Houlihan Park.
No. 2 seed Dayton won its first two games of the double-elimination tournament and will tentatively play on Saturday at noon, nationally-televised by CBS Sports Network. The Flyers will play the winner of the consolation bracket to be determined by the end of the day.
Senior shortstop Brian Blasik led the Flyers on Friday from the first at-bat of the game – hitting a leadoff homerun – to his last – singling and scoring a run in the ninth – to insure Dayton’s win over the Spiders. In the fourth inning, Blasik stole third base to become Dayton’s career stolen bases leader, passing Michael Massa (2004-07) with 64.
Dayton jumped out to a 7-1 lead with two runs in the third and four runs in the fourth. Richmond committed six errors on the day as the Spiders starter Andrew Blum (6-4) allowed 10 hits and nine runs – only three of which were earned.
Richmond chipped away at Dayton’s lead with no more than one run in each inning to pull within two, 7-5, in the eighth. The Spiders left 11 runners on base and were led by Phil Ruzbarsky’s 2-for-4 performance, including a solo homerun in the seventh.
Senior right-handed pitcher Tim Bury (8-2) started on the mound for the Flyers lasting 7 2/3 innings with two strikeouts, 10 ground-outs and 11 fly-outs to receive his seventh win in eight starts. Senior Burny Mitchem threw 1 1/3 innings, retiring four of his five batters faced, to earn his six save of the season.
Junior Ian Hundley started for the first time of his career in the designated hitter spot and finished 2-for-5 and drove in a run. Hundley is batting 6-for-11 in the A-10 tournament.