The Rhode Island baseball team will look to improve their current 2-5 conference record this weekend when they take on the Dayton Flyers. Rhody will be on the road for the three game set, which begins this afternoon. And by the looks of it, URI matches up well with the Flyers. Can they do to Dayton what they did to Fordham last weekend? Here’s a closer look at UD.
2013 Record: 11-39-1 (3-21 in the Atlantic 10)
Key Losses: IF Jared Broughton, OF Ian Hundley, P Parker Schrage
Key Returners: IF Robby Sunderman, OF Mark Podlas, P Noah Buettgen
The Flyers have already surpassed their win total from a year ago as they currently sit at 13-17 on the season. They’re also 5-4 in the conference, which is also an improvement, but they did recently drop two of three to Fordham. Rhody didn’t do that – just sayin’. But UD has won four of their last five games, so it’s still going to be a challenge for the Rams this weekend.
Joe Wahl should toe the rubber for the Flyers in game one this afternoon. The fifth-year senior has struggled so far this season, going 0-4 with an 8.05 ERA in eight starts. Opponents are hitting .322 against the righty, so let’s hope the URI offense can jump on him. Saturday’s starter will most likely be redshirt junior Noah Buettgen. The righty is 4-3 with a 4.37 ERA on the year, and he’s coming off a nice complete-game win over UMass. Sophomore Charlie Dant (great baseball name, by the way) should get the start on Sunday. Also right-handed, Dant is 3-3 with a 4.33 ERA this year in eight starts.
As for the UD offense… well, it’s certainly much better than it was a year ago. Senior Robby Sunderman leads the way with an impressive .376 average and 10 doubles, both best on the team. There’s still plenty of baseball left, but the infielder has raised his batting average almost 100 points over last season. Sophomore Aaron Huesman is also having a notable year, hitting .304 with a pair of home runs.
The first game of the series gets underway shortly, with the first pitch coming at 3:00 p.m. Saturday’s contest will get underway at 1:00 p.m., and Sunday’s game will have a nice and early 11:00 a.m. start. All three games will be played at Woerner Field in Dayton.