The good news is the hellish part of the Rhode Island Rams baseball schedule is now over. The bad news is the Rams have come out of it at 0-8. Rhody got absolutely lit up in a mini two-game series by the Mississippi State, the number 10 team in the country according to the latest NCBWA poll. The Bulldogs waxed URI 13-2 on Tuesday before topping the Rams 17-5 yesterday. Rhode Island will now enter an easier stretch of their schedule as they continue to search for their first win of the season.
In game one of the series, Mississippi State came out of the gate on fire, scoring seven runs in the bottom of the first off Rhody starter Milan Mantle. The Rams were never able to recover, plating their only two runs in the top of the third in a game that was never close. Mantle went only 2 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs on eight hits in the loss. Alex Detz led the Bulldogs offense, going 2 for 2 with a double, a walk, and 3 RBI. Rhody did not record an extra base hit the entire game, but shortstop Tim Caputo added three singles from the nine-hole.
Game two had a similar result, but the circumstances were a little different. Rhody actually jumped out to a 1-0 lead in this one, scoring the run in the top of the second. The Bulldogs added four runs in the bottom of the third before the Rams closed the gap at 4-3. But Mississippi State combined to score 13 runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, putting the game out of reach for URI. Ty Sterner took the loss for Rhode Island, allowing just the four runs in 2+ innings pitched.
Rhody has a quick turn-around as they head right back to work tomorrow, taking on the Virginia Tech Hokies at a neutral site. The Rams take on three different teams in the next three days as part of a tourney at the USA Baseball Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina. The good news is none of the three teams are ranked, but none of them are pushovers either. It’s a new month, so let’s hope the Rams can get the monkey off their back and pick up that first W.