University of Rhode Island redshirt freshman pitcher and infielder Justin Cherry earned Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week honors this past week.

“That was really cool to see that for the first time,” said Cherry. “It just helps with confidence and playing in ongoing games.”

The award was announced by the conference on April 15, and was given to Cherry for his exceptional work on the mound. Cherry made two appearances, one being a start against the Davidson Wildcats.  Cherry pitched seven and two-thirds innings against the Wildcats, allowed no runs, and was able to fan 11 Davidson batters. Cherry also was able to throw five straight 1-2-3 innings.

Overall on the week Cherry threw nine and two-thirds innings, with 13 strikeouts. He allowed no runs on the week and opposing teams batted only .125 against him while he was pitching. If his work on the mound wasn’t enough, while batting and playing shortstop in a game against Holy Cross, Cherry recorded an RBI single at the dish.  

“I just wanna have fun with it,” said Cherry. “It’s a blessing to play baseball in college, especially playing here.”

Cherry is originally from Stafford, Virginia, where he was a two sport varsity athlete in both baseball and golf. While at North Stafford High School, Cherry was a three year starter for his baseball team, and a captain for two of those years. Cherry was the beneficiary of All-Conference, All-Region and All-Freelance Star awards while in high school. He also played for the Richmond Braves, a national baseball team focused on developing Division One and draftable baseball talent.

“It’s just something I always kind of did,” said Cherry on playing two positions. “A lot of coaches won’t let kids do it at the next level but they let me and I just took it as what it was and being lucky to being able to do it.”

So far on the season, Cherry is hitting .226, has one home run and five runs batted in. Cherry’s best game at the plate so far on his season came back on March 27, when Rhody traveled to play Northeastern University.

Cherry hit three for five on the day, had two doubles, and two runs. Back on March 20th against Sacred Heart at Bill Beck Field, Cherry produced his highest run batted in total of the season. In a 6-5 loss Cherry blasted a two run home run for the first hit of his Rhode Island career. On the mound, he has appeared in 11 games, starting five of them. So far he has a 2-1 win/loss record on the season, and boasts a 2.68 earned run average. In 37 innings pitched so far, he’s allowed 37 hits, walked 12 batters and struck out 38, for K/9 ratio of 9.24. Cherry has only given up two home runs.

The Rams play next this upcoming weekend, as they will host a three game home series at Bill Beck Field against Atlantic 10 rivals George Mason.