Photo by Autumn Walter |CIGAR| The baseball team will keep working in practice to combat their losses over this past weekend.
The URI baseball teamed opened up their season with a three-game series against No. 9 ranked Texas A&M this weekend, dropping all three games to the Aggies.
The Rams went down 3-0 in the second inning of game one and weren’t able to come back despite impressive pitching throughout the rest of the game.
Redshirt junior Tyler Wilson got the nod from head coach Ralph Cerrato, his first appearance on the mound since March 10, 2017. Wilson settled in after the three-run second, pitching into the fifth inning and only giving up one more earned run.
“His velocity was good, which was encouraging to see the arm strength there,” Cerrato said. “To see him come back from injury and make sure his arm strength is there, I think the other variables are going to improve. He threw okay, but he’s going to be better.”
Rhody almost pulled away with the victory in game two, losing on a walk-off single from Zach DeLoach. Redshirt senior Matt Murphy got the start in game two, throwing six innings of one-run ball. He allowed the run in the bottom of the first, and the next five frames were shutouts. Second baseman Laurence Hill went two for four with two doubles, two RBI, and a stolen base.
The Aggies won game three by a score of 10-2, going up 4-0 by the third inning. Josh Brodeur scored the first hit for URI in the top of the fourth, but the Rams didn’t cross the plate until the top of the seventh on a Jordan Powell homerun. Mike Foley scored Greg Cavaliere on a base hit to make it a 5-2 game, but that was the closest URI got. Texas A&M hit back to back homeruns twice, once in the bottom of the seventh and once in the eighth inning to seal the deal.
Despite the losses, Cerrato saw promising things from his squad in their opening weekend.
“The pitching was solid, and we expected it to be good,” Cerrato said. “I liked our defense, that’s usually a tough aspect early in the season because we don’t get a chance to go outside and play. Baserunning was good, too.”
Cerrato emphasized the importance of good defense and baserunning. “Those are two areas that are going to be important, because we don’t have quite as much power as last year,” Cerrato said. “We need to be good in other areas, and defense and base running are going to be key. They were both solid.”
Heading to Seattle, Washington this Friday for their second series of the season, Cerrato mentioned offensive improvements that needed to be made. “Our two-strike approach offensively, the ability to use the bunt game a little better, those are two areas we need to improve upon as we pull forward,” Cerrato said.
The Rams look to bounce back this weekend against Seattle University. The series opens Friday night at 8 p.m.