It took a little while, and it hasn’t always been pretty. But the Rhode Island Rams baseball team is finally stringing together some wins as we roll into spring. Rhody still sits at a disappointing 4-13 on the season, but they’re carrying a two-game winning streak into today’s game. And they’ll need to stay hot if they want to top the defending Atlantic 10 Champions. Here’s how URI matches up with the Billikens.
2013 Record: 41-21 (17-7 in the Atlantic 10)
Key Losses: 2B Mike Levine, OF Alex Kelly, P Alex Alemann
Key Returners: 1B Mike Vigliarolo, IF Braxton Martinez, P Clay Smith
Saint Louis sits at 11-8 on the season coming into today’s contest, but they’re just 3-3 in true road games. They’re also winners of eight of their last 10, including a four-game sweep of North Dakota two weekends ago. But every single one of their last 10 games was played at home… let’s see how they handle The Beck.
The Rams will likely be facing off against SLU starter James Norwood this afternoon. The junior checks in at 2-0 on the season with an even 3.00 ERA in five starts. Fellow junior Nick Bates should get the ball in game two, and his numbers are quite similar to Norwood’s. The righty is also 2-0 on the year, with a slightly higher 3.42 ERA in just three starts (but six appearances). Sophomore Josh Moore is expected to toe the rubber in the finale, with the lefty carrying a 1-1 record and a 4.68 ERA into the weekend.
The Billikens offense starts and ends with first baseman Mike Vigliarolo. The junior slugger it hitting .364 with three home runs and 18 RBI in just 19 games on the season. And that only tells part of the story. Vigliarolo also has a .571 slugging percentage and seven doubles for the year, all part of his 28 total hits. Again, he’s played only 19 games. Rhody pitchers will have to tread lightly when the junior steps into the box.
With that, A-10 play gets underway for URI. The first pitch for today’s game is slated for 3:00 p.m. Things will get underway at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow, followed by a noon start time in Sunday’s finale.