The Rhode Island Rams were outscored 15-7 over the weekend en route to a three-game sweep at the hands of College of Charleston. The Cougars handled Rhody with little difficulty, as the Rams held only one lead (it lasted just a half inning) in the three games combined. The winless weekend drops URI to 1-6 on the young season, with a tough couple of days on the horizon.
Friday’s game one pitted Rhode Island’s Tyler Bowditch against CofC’s Nathan Helvey. And things got off to a rocky start. The Cougars took advantage of two URI errors and scored a pair of unearned runs in bottom of the first to jump on top 2-0. Unfortunately for Bowditch and the Rams, Charleston was just getting started. Two runs in the second and two more in the fourth pretty much sealed the deal as the Cougars coasted to a 7-3 win. CofC shortstop Gunnar Heidt led the way on offense, going 2-4 with a home run and four RBI. Shane O’Connell had two RBI for Rhody, but it wasn’t enough to slow down the Cougars offense.
Game two was the closest of the three weekend games, but that also means it was the most frustrating. The Rams failed to plate a single run in a frustrating 1-0 loss to the Cougars. Rhode Island stranded eight runners on the afternoon as they wasted a stellar start from Steve Moyers. But Charleston’s Taylor Clarke was the star, hurling five shutout innings while striking out seven.
The series finale saw CofC’s offense once again being too much to handle. URI starter Lou Distasio held the Cougars at bay over the first three innings, and a two-run single from David Hopkins put the Rams on top 2-0 in the top of the fourth. But Charleston put up six straight runs over the next three innings to complete the three-game sweep. Morgan Phillips led the way on offense for CofC, going 1-3 with a home run and two RBI, and Eric Bauer pitched six innings for the win.
It’s tough for Rhody fans to get too nervous at this point, especially since the Rams started last year 0-9. But the Rams are slated to play five different teams in fives games over the next six days. Things may get harder before they get easier. URI plays their first mid-week game of the season tomorrow when they take on the Citadel. First pitch is set for 5:00 p.m.