Baseball earns first home win of the season following two losses

After back-to-back losses this past weekend in a series at William and Mary College losing 11-2 and 7-3, the University of Rhode Island (7-10) responded in their first home game at Bill Beck field against Sacred Heart University winning 6-4.

The first game of Rhode Island’s series against William and Mary took place last Friday and the Rams were the first team on the scoreboard. In the top of the third inning redshirt junior Chris Hess hit a RBI single to bring home redshirt sophomore Laurence Hill, who reached second base off of a single and stolen base prior to making his way past home plate. Following the top of the third inning, William and Mary took full control, totaling eight runs in the bottom half of the third, fourth and fifth innings. Rhode Island sophomore pitcher Nick Johnson (0-2) was handed the loss, pitching four innings and allowing six earned runs on nine hits while also striking out five.

In the second and final game of the series, due to the third game being cancelled, Rhode Island found themselves in an early hole trailing 5-0 as the Tribe scored five runs in the bottom of the second, third and fourth innings. The Rams would get on the scoreboard in the fifth inning when junior Mike Foley hit his first home run of the year to make the score 5-1. The Tribe added two more runs to their lead in the bottom of the seventh inning off of a triple. The Rams would score two more runs in the eighth, but were unable to mount the comeback. Junior Jordan Powell had his fifth multi-hit game, with his three on the afternoon, along with one run scored. Junior Matt Murphy was given the loss (2-2) as he pitched 3.2 innings and gave up five earned runs on seven hits.

Head coach Raphael Cerrato knew his team was struggling on both ends against a tough and experienced William and Mary team that had given them trouble before.

“William and Mary they are a really good club,” Cerrato said. “We played them earlier this season and lost 2-1 late after being up 1-0. They played really well and we didn’t, they’re a really good team and when that happens most of the time you aren’t going to win. Our starting pitchers did not pitch up to their capability, and we didn’t have great at-bats.

Rhode Island traveled back to Kingston to play their first home game of the season on Tuesday afternoon when they hosted Sacred Heart University. The Pioneers took advantage of freshman pitcher Jake Walker’s early struggles, scoring four runs on two hits in his only inning of work. Down 4-0 going into the bottom of the second inning, The Rams needed to get their offense going, and they did exactly that, cutting the lead in half 4-2.

Redshirt senior Mike Corin got the scoring going when he hit a double to left field, advanced to third base on a pitch that went wide and then scored on a sacrifice fly from sophomore Brett McManus. Sophomore Kevin Heiss then hit an RBI single to send home junior Mike Foley who was walked and stole second before cutting the score in half at the end of the second inning. In the bottom of the third inning, redshirt senior Matt O’Neil hit an RBI double, bringing home the speedy Powell and pulling URI within one run.

In the bottom half of the seventh inning, the Rams tied the score up when Powell hit an RBI single that safely scored senior Martin Figueroa. Rhode Island seized their first lead of the game in the next inning when McManus hit a triple deep to center field, and was later brought home on a Foley RBI double, putting the Rams ahead 5-4. Powell helped finish the home field comeback when he was walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth, scoring Foley for another insurance run.

Four of the Rams pitchers; freshman Nick Robinson, junior Dom Grillo, sophomore Mark Silvestri and redshirt senior Blaise Whitman were able to hold the Pioneers to four runs all game by retiring 13 straight batters. Whitman closed out the exciting comeback win in the top of the ninth inning.

Cerrato was happy to finally be back on Bill Beck field after weeks of traveling around the country his team, who earned a well deserved win.

“It’s just nice to be at home,” Cerrato said. “I mean we have been on the road a long time, and any win is good. It’s nice to be at our own park, and we had one real bad inning but other than that we played a real good game. Any win is a good win. It’s always tough.”

The baseball team will have their next away game at Davidson College this upcoming Friday for a three game series. Cerrato said he knows they will be out looking for revenge from last season.

“We’ll be ready,” Cerrato said. “We beat Davidson twice in the conference tournament last year, so they’ll be wanting to beat us there’s no doubt about that. I mean we ended their season and beat them pretty good two times so they’re going to be fired up at their home park down there. Our guys will be ready it’s our first series (Atlantic 10) so I don’t really want to worry about wins and losses I just know if we play good baseball we will do well.”