For the second straight season, the Rhode Island Rams baseball team is off to a rocky start. And a quick look at this week’s schedule shows that things are going to remain pretty challenging. The Rams have a pair of mid-week games on the slate before they head to Myrtle Beach for the Caravelle Resort Tournament. First up: a match-up this afternoon with the Citadel Bulldogs.
2013 Record: 35-25 (18-12 in the Southern Conference)
Key Losses: C Joe Jackson, OF Brett Bullard, P Austin Pritcher
Key Returners: 1B Bo Thompson, OF Hughston Armstrong, OF Tyler Griffin
The Bulldogs started their 2014 season with a pair of big wins over Virginia Tech and Louisville, but it’s been pretty ugly since. The Citadel will come into this afternoon’s action riding a five-game losing streak, including three losses in the UCF Baseball Tournament over the weekend. Someone’s streak is going to come to an end… let’s hope it’s URI’s four game losing streak.
The Citadel lost their 2013 ace (Austin Pritcher) to graduation, but otherwise their pitching staff is pretty well intact from last season. Being that this is a mid-week game, the Rams will miss the Bulldogs usual starters and will have to deal with a staff day. Kevin Connell got the only other weekday start for the Citadel, allowing three runs and six hits over three innings in a loss to USC Upstate. Whether it’s him or another bullpen arm, Rhody’s bats should be ready to rake.
The Bulldogs lost their top hitter from last season when Joe Jackson (not of the shoeless variety) was taken in the fifth round by the Texas Rangers in last year’s draft. But the Citadel still has their fair share of thumpers in the lineup. Senior outfielder Hughston Armstrong leads the way with a .480 average on the young season, and first baseman Bo Thompson has the team’s only two home runs. The Bulldogs’ offense isn’t as tough as some of the other teams that the Rams have faced, however. If Rhody can pitch carefully to those two sluggers, there aren’t many others who can do a lot of damage.
This evening’s game will have live video streamed, so you can check out Rhody baseball on the web once again. Click here for the link. The first pitch from Riley Park is slated for 5:00 p.m. GO RHODY!