See? All the Rhode Island Rams had to do was get that first win off their back, then BAM – the Ws start coming much easier. Rhody picked up their second-straight win yesterday afternoon, dropping the 22nd ranked team in the country according to Baseball America. Make no mistake about it, this was a big win for URI as they went 2-1 in the Irish Classic to finish the most difficult stretch of their schedule at 2-9.
Being that they were facing the Irish, it was very fitting that Rhody sent righty Liam O’Sullivan to the hill. Notre Dame countered with freshman David Hearne, but neither starting pitcher would factor into the decision. The Fighting Irish opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, taking a 1-0 lead on an RBI single from Eric Jagielo. The Rams battled back, putting a three-spot on the board in the top of the third, capped by a two-RBI single from Tim Caputo. Notre Dame got those runs right back in the bottom of the frame to tie things at three and chase O’Sullivan from the game. URI brought on reliever Bobby Dean, and he was absolutely lights out. Dean pitched six innings of relief allowing 0 runs, stretching his scoreless streak to 12 innings.
But Dean was just one of the heroes, as Rhody picked up the winning run in the top of the ninth. The rally started with the bases empty and two outs when Pat Fortunato reached on an error. After a Kevin Stenhouse single put runners at the corners, third baseman Connor Foreman delivered. The freshman singled up the middle to plate Fortunato with the go-ahead run, and Dean closed the door with a 1-2-3 ninth.
The Rams now get a week off to bask in their two straight victories, and the ship seems to have been righted after a rocky start. Rhody goes for three wins in a row next Sunday when they take on the East Tennessee State Buccaneers in Johnson City. The first game in the two-game series is slated for Sunday the 10th, with the first pitch coming at 2:00 PM eastern time.