Showing few signs of arachnophobia this past weekend in Virginia, the University of Rhode Island took two of three contests from the University of Richmond Spiders.
Rhode Island won Games 1 and 2 by the scores of 7-2 and 3-0, only falling in Game 3, 6-1. With their two victories last weekend against conference-leading Richmond, the Rams now sit at 8-4 in the Atlantic 10 Conference – good for fourth place in conference.
Rhode Island has been able to ride the success of many players to their current in conference mark, particularly freshman Tyler Wilson.
Wilson, who started Saturday for the Rams, threw his second complete game in as many appearances facing only 29 batters across his nine innings of work while striking out three. Wilson had to be near perfect as it would take the Rams until the top of the ninth to produce the day’s offense.
Junior Ryan Olmo scored on a wild pitch and redshirt sophomore Mike Corin scored on a throwing error in rapid succession with a man down in the frame. Freshman Mike Foley would cap off the Rhode Island offense with a double down the right field line to score junior Connor Foreman and give Wilson the win.
With Wilson’s performance Saturday, he moved into sixth place in the nation boasting a 1.14 ERA, including a 0.55 mark in A-10 play. Despite being named as one of eight to receive the Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week award and earning the A-10 Pitcher of the Week award, Wilson doesn’t follow his statistics.
“Personally I couldn’t even tell you my ERA, I don’t really look at my stats,” Wilson said. “I don’t believe in stats.”
“I want to put us in the best shape possible to win games. I don’t go out there saying I’ve got to throw nine innings today. I expect to go out there and throw seven innings, we put up a ton of runs and [head] Coach [Raphael Cerrato] can take me out.”
Friday’s contest would rely not only on the strengths of junior Steve Moyers, who allowed only two runs across eight innings of play while striking out Spiders, but also that of a timely offense.
The Rams picked up an unearned run in the top of the first on an Olmo groundout, scoring senior shortstop Tim Caputo. Rhode Island picked up three more unearned runs in the top of the second. Freshman Jordan Powell singled in senior Mike Sherburne in to make the game 3–0, which set up sophomore Martin Taveras to bring in Powell. Olmo knocked in Taveras to cap off the scoring in the first two innings, giving the Rams all of the offense they would need.
“It’s not easy,” Cerrato said. “You’re playing a really good program after a nine-hour bus ride, you get in late and then you have to come back the next day. I’m proud of the effort.”
With eyes turned towards the broom closet on Sunday, the Rams turned to redshirt senior Brendan Doonan, not regular weekend starter Lou Distasio for undisclosed reasons. But the sweep was not meant to be. With the junior not on the hill, Doonan lasted only 1 1/2, allowing 4 four runs on four hits, including two runs. Both home runs came in the first off of the bats of juniors Tyler Beckworth and Doug Kraeger, with the latter’s being a two-run blast.
Rhode Island would get on the board only by way of a Taveras solo blast (3) in the sixth.
The Rams will travel back to the “Mother of the Presidents” on Friday to continue conference play against Virginia Commonwealth University in a three-game series.