The Rhode Island Rams baseball team needed a big series win against St. Bonaventure to have a shot at contending for the Atlantic 10 title this season. And that’s exactly what they got. After dropping game one of the weekend tilt against the Bonnies, Rhody came back to win the next two contests to improve to 28-21 overall on the season. The Rams also improve to 12-6 in the A-10, putting them just one game out of first place and the regular season championship.
The first game saw the URI offense go cold as they wasted a good Mike Bradstreet start in a 2-1 loss. Bradstreet allowed just the two runs in six and 1/3 innings while striking out four in his final home start in a Rhody uniform, but the Rams could muster just a single run on the fifth inning. St. Bonaventure starter Andrew Revello was able to hold the Rams to four hits in his six and 1/3 innings, as Asa Johnson finished things off for the save. A Joe Landi bases-loaded walk was all she wrote as URI did not record an extra base hit all day.
Game two was much of the same… until late. Bonnies starter Joel Rosencrance held the Rams off the board for the first six innings as his squad took a 2-0 lead into the seventh. But that’s when the Rhody offense broke out. A Mike LeBel sac fly and a Shane O’Connell RBI single tied things up, and that’s where it stayed until the bottom of the ninth. Jeff Roy picked up a huge lead-off triple, forcing St. Bonaventure to intentionally walk the next two URI hitters to set up a a force at any base. But it didn’t matter. Kevin Stenhouse ripped the first pitch he saw into right field for the walk-off single in a 3-2 come-from-behind win. Rob Curran picked up the win in relief for the Rams, but Sean Furney deserves a nod for a great start on the hill. The senior went seven innings, allowing just the two runs while fanning 10.
After a pair of close games, Sunday’s finale was all Rhody. The Rams put up four runs in the first inning and never looked back in a 7-0 win. Steve Moyers went the first seven innings of shut-out ball, and Mike LeBel pitched the ninth in an awesome moment on Senior Day. The URI 3rd baseman struck out two in a spotless inning of relief. Derek Gardella provided the big blow in the first with a two-run single, and Rhode Island closed the door on the Beck for the 2013 season on a high note.
Rhody will now enjoy a few days off before heading on the road to take on Butler this weekend in a three-game set. The Rams have seven regular season games left, and the top seed in the A-10 is well within reach.