So this frigid March is now affecting URI sports. Rhode Island’s two-game home opening series against UMass Lowell will not be played at all this weekend due to unplayable conditions. Yesterday’s game was outright canceled, and this afternoon’s contest will be played on Tuesday instead. From the official release:
After further assessment of field conditions – specifically the pitcher’s mound – at URI’s Bill Beck Field, the decision has been made to postpone Sunday’s game against UMass Lowell. The Rams and River Hawks will now play one game at The Beck, on Tuesday, March 11 at 3 p.m.
Regardless, here’s what you need to know about the River Hawks.
2013 Record: 30-19 (15-12 in Northeast-10 Conference [Division II])
Key Losses: 3B Pat Devlin, IF James Katsiroubas, P Tyler Toyfair
Key Returners: CF Geoff DeGroot, OF Jimmy Ricoy, P Shane Beauchemin
Much like their hoops team, UML baseball is playing their first season in Division I. But the River Hawks are adjusting nicely as they are 5-2 on the young season, including wins over Temple, Cincinnati, and Virginia Tech. Not too bad so far.
Normally a weekday game indicates a staff day for both teams in terms of pitching, but that may not be the case this time around. Neither the Rams nor the River Hawks have played since last Sunday, so we could easily see some regular starters tomorrow. Both teams do have three-game series coming up next weekend, however. It will be interesting to see how both Jim Foster and UMass Lowell coach Ken Harring decide to play this one. If the Rams do see UML’s ace, it’ll be senior Shane Beauchemin. The righty is 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA this season, and has 14 strikeouts in his 13 innings of work.
The River Hawks offense is led by senior Danny Mendick. The shortstop checks in at an even .400 on the season, with 10 hits (one double) in his first seven games. He’s also an OBP machine, with six walks to just one strikeout thus far. Mendick is doing some serious damage out of the two-spot in the lineup, and the Rams need to keep him off the bases as much as possible.
Now it’s time to hope for some sort of heat wave to sweep through Rhode Island. Baseball = summer, but it’s hard to make the connection when Rhody is playing with temps in the 40s. But as of now, the first pitch in Tuesday’s home opener will come at 3:00 p.m.