In a 3-game set south of the Mason-Dixon Line, the Rhode Island Rams (1-5) baseball team picked up their first win of the season against the University of Maryland Terrapins (3-3).
The Rams broke through in Game 2, taking their only game of the weekend by a score of 2-1 behind the efforts of a dominating LHP Tyler Wilson (1-1). Wilson, a sophomore, allowed just one unearned run through seven innings on his way to striking out 11 and earning Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Week honors.
Wilson allowed just four hits, the entirety of the Terrapins offense for the afternoon, as freshman Jake Rockefeller locked down the eighth and redshirt sophomore Tyler Barss picked up his first save of the year.
While the first and third games of the series did not pan in out in terms of wins for URI, they were productive games for the program.
”Especially based on the weekend before, we just played much better baseball,” Rams head coach Raphael Cerrato said. “Obviously there are still things to improve on, but to play real baseball instead of getting your butts kicked. We feel better about ourselves, about our team.”
On Friday, the Rams ran into good old-fashioned pitching. Junior RHP Mike Shawaryn (1-1) extinguished the Rhode Island offense for Maryland, holding the Rams to just a lone base hit in the entire ballgame. His 8-inning start paved the way for a 6-foot-8 sophomore Ryan Selmer’s second save of the year and a Terrapins 1-0 victory. Rams’ pitching did not allow an earned run over the first two days of the series.
“[Shawaryn]’s going to be potentially a top-round [pick] this year. He’s one of the top pitchers in the country,” Cerrato said.
The rubber game of the series provided a stark contrast to the first two days of action. Rhode Island jumped out to a healthy 4-0 lead in the third, and a 7-2 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth after a senior Chase Livingston three-run home run. Rams starter and redshirt junior Ben Wessel lasted just 4.1IP, allowing six runs including two home runs. Sophomore Nick Johnson (0-1) would be tagged for three additional runs and Rockefeller for another, as the Terrapins put together eight runs in the frame to take a 10-7 lead they would never relinquish. Maryland would grab another run in the sixth, which would prove to be the difference maker after a three-run Rams eighth. Maryland added two insurance runs in the bottom part of the inning to finalize the score at 13-10.
Rhode Island will travel to South Carolina Friday to begin a 3-game series with Winthrop University. Winthrop posted their best record in 2015 since the 2006 season, going 40-19 as a member of the Big South Conference.