Once again, the Rhode Island Rams baseball team dropped the first game of their three-game weekend series. And once again, Rhody came back to win the next two to take the series and remain in contention for the top spot in the Atlantic 10. URI picked up a pair of big road wins against the Butler Bulldogs to improve to 30-22 overall, and 14-7 in the conference. The W also secures the sixth-straight 30+ win season for the Rams, the best such streak in school history. Rhody now sits just two games back of the first place Charlotte 49ers with four games to play in the regular season.
Game one saw URI squander an early lead, as they jumped out to a 3-0 advantage in the first inning before eventually falling by the score of 5-4. With Rhody up 4-1 in the fifth, the Bulldogs plated three runs to tie the game thanks to a big three-run double from Jimmy Risi. Butler took the lead for good in the seventh when Michael Fries scored on a passed ball. Mike Bradstreet was the tough-luck loser as he allowed four runs, although just two of them were earned. Pat Fortunato enjoyed a monster day at the plate, going 4-5 with a double and two RBI.
By contrast, Saturday’s affair had the Rams coming from behind to take the contest by an 8-3 margin. Sean Furney pitched well, but Rhody fell behind 3-2 in the second inning. The score remained the same until the seventh when URI broke through for five runs. The big blow came from Connor Foreman, who delivered a two-run double that would help secure Furney’s sixth win of the season. Jeff Roy added an RBI as part of a 4-5 day at the plate.
Sunday’s finale was… well, it was not close. Steve Moyers and the Rhody bullpen held Butler to just one run and the URI offense did the rest. The Rams plated nine runs in the ninth inning and 17 overall in a massive rout of the Bulldogs to take the series. Kevin Stenhouse was ridiculous, going 4-6 with SEVEN RBI in the 17-1 Rams victory. Rhody notched a season-high 21 hits against four Butler pitchers.
If Rhode Island’s goal was to close the series on a high note, consider that one a success. URI is back in action on Tuesday when they take on the UConn Huskies. The A-10 Tournament begins a week from Wednesday – get pumped Rhody fans!