Spiders to face seven NCAA Regional teams and two College World Series in 2010
UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. – Third-year head coach Mark McQueen has announced the University of Richmond’s 2010 baseball schedule, with the Spiders set to play seven NCAA Regional teams, two College World Series participants, along with 29 home games at historic Pitt Field.
The Spiders’ aggressive 56-game schedule features seven teams that reached the Regionals of the 2009 NCAA Tournament – Virginia, North Carolina, George Mason, Ohio State, Xavier, Oklahoma and Jacksonville. The Cavaliers and the Tar Heels each reached the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
“We’re very excited about this year’s schedule,” said McQueen. “On paper, it’s one of the toughest we’ve played in quite some time. These early-season games should provide our veteran club with good tests to prepare us for the remainder of a difficult schedule.”
The 2010 season opens with six of the first seven games in Jacksonville, Fla., as the Spiders are set to play in both the North Florida and Jacksonville invitationals on consecutive weekends. The season opener is Florida A&M on Feb. 19, followed by North Florida and Ohio State.
Richmond is home to host VMI in the Pitt Field opener on Feb. 23, before returning to the Sunshine State to battle Valparaiso, Jacksonville and Oklahoma.
Also highlighting the schedule are home-and-home series with Commonwealth rivals George Mason, Old Dominion, Longwood and VMI. The in-city rivalry with VCU is set for April 6 at The Diamond and April 14 at Pitt Field.
Atlantic 10 play opens with the Spiders hosting Fordham at Pitt Field March 26-28, with A-10 Champion Xavier in town the following weekend.
Richmond’s other conference weekends are: Massachusetts (away), George Washington (home), Temple (away), Saint Joseph’s (home), Duquesne (away), Rhode Island (away) and the regular-season finale at home versus Charlotte.
The Spiders welcome back all but one position player and three pitchers off the 2009 club that was among the youngest in college baseball. Seven of Richmond’s starting position players in 2009 were either freshmen or sophomores.
Sophomore 2B Adam McConnell, who was an A-10 All-Rookie and Ping Freshman All-America last season, returns after leading the Spiders with a .355 average, while his 31 stolen bases were the most by a freshman in the NCAA last season, set a school freshman record and were the third-most ever in a single-season at Richmond.
McConnell, along with senior 3B Cameron Brown and senior SS Victor Croglio comprise one of the most talented defensive infields in the A-10. Brown batted .340 and slugged a team-leading 11 home runs, with Croglio drove in 16 runs, stole eight bases and committed just six errors in 119 chances.
Senior LHP Matt Zielinski anchors a pitching staff that lost its career saves leader in Brian Alas, righty starter Stephen Owens and reliever Josh Horn. Zielinski is an All-Conference performer who owns a 13-11 record, a 4.60 ERA, 178 strikeouts and 74 walks in his career.
Richmond finished 22-25 last season in its 94th season of baseball.