One thing is for sure: the Rhode Island Rams baseball regular season ended quite differently than it began. Rhody closed out a three-game sweep of a St. Joseph’s Hawks yesterday to finish off their 2013 campaign with a 34-22 record. URI also held a 17-7 mark in Atlantic 10 play, which secured them a share of the A-10 title – their first since 2006. The Rams finished in a three-way tie for first with the St. Louis Billikens and the Charlotte 49ers. Due to tiebreaker rules, Rhody will be the three seed in the upcoming A-10 Tournament.
Game one of the series against the Hawks saw Mike Bradstreet take the hill for URI against Kyle Mullen of St. Joe’s. The Rams broke through in the second inning for three runs thanks in part to a two-run double for Tim Caputo. And that was all Bradstreet would need as he pitched six scoreless frames to pick up his seventh win of the season. The Rhody bullpen closed the door on a 4-1 URI win.
If low-scoring pitchers duels are your thing then maybe stop reading here, because the Rhode Island offense exploded in games two and three of the series. The Rams scored in each of the first four innings in Friday’s affair en route to a 13-8 victory. Jeff Roy, Kevin Stenhouse, Pat Fortunato, and Jesse Lee each had three hits and Sean Furney picked up the win in three innings of work. URI tallied 19 hits on the day as the bullpen staved off a late Hawks rally. The fact that Furney pitched only three innings indicates that coach Foster may be lining him up to pitch Game 1 of the A-10 Tournament.
Saturday’s finale was another barn burner as URI scored in double-digits once again, picking up a 10-5 win and the series sweep. Mike LeBel was the big star at the plate, going 2-5 with a home run and three RBI. Tyler Bowditch pitched five innings of one-run ball for his third win of the season.
And now things are about to get fun. Rhody will take on La Salle Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. in Charlotte as part of the 2013 Atlantic 10 Baseball Tournament. We’ll be previewing the tourney as well as the Explorers coming up this week.