All at Bill Beck Field would be hunky dory if the Rams baseball program could be the same team during the week that they are during this past weekend series.
On any given weekend, Rhode Island is one of, if not the best team in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Holding a conference record of 8-4 and a record of 9-4 against Atlantic 10 baseball programs, URI has dominated. They took two out of three from defending A-10 Champion Virginia Commonwealth University, just swept St. Bonaventure last weekend and have only lost a single conference series.
So why aren’t the praises of the baseball Rams being sung by the highest choir of angels, or at least from the rooftop of CBLS? Well, consistency seems to be the problem.
Rhode Island sits at 17-20 overall after a doubleheader with Maine, and while the sub-.500 record can be explained by the fact that URI has faced great opponents (2-7 against No. 14 Florida, Maryland and Winthrop), it does not explain everything.
Since the start of conference play, URI has gone 3-6 in midweek games falling to baseball programs like Maine (RPI 268) and Quinnipiac (RPI 219).
Midweek, the Rams have generally sent redshirt sophomore Blaise Whitman out to start to the tune of Â 10 walks, 22 strikeouts and a 7.03 ERA through 24.1 innings pitched. The spearhead of the Rams midweek isn’t the sharpest. There is hope for the weekday staff in that they are young, and that Rams like freshman Jake Rockefeller will be able to pitch at URI for three more seasons.
Despite URI not being able to take advantage of easier midweek contests, or its middle-of-the-road team batting average and fielding percentage, there’s no reason to think they can’t make a run for a conference title and get into the NCAA Regionals.
The one-two punch of sophomore Tyler Wilson and senior Steve Moyers has been remarkable as of late. The duo this past weekend combined for 18 innings of baseball and not a single earned run. The sheer ability that Rhode Island possesses, to send out two players capable of otherworldly dominance is something that can’t be oversold.
Furthermore, Rhode Island has the awesome power of sophomore centerfielder Jordan Powell, who sits just seven points below .400 in batting average entering this weekend. URI has also plugged in freshman first baseman Brett McManus, who’s hitting .318, but perhaps more importantly, is serving as an excellent backstop of sorts at his position.
The path for doesn’t get easier for URI, as they will face St. Joseph’s this week in Philadelphia, a top 100 RPI team. If URI can continue to clean-up Friday through Sunday, they can strike fear into the hearts of anyone.