The Rhode Island Rams baseball team didn’t get any breaks this weekend as they dropped all three games in a weekend series at Dayton. Rhody saw a mix of tough luck, bad innings, and lapses on defense result in a Flyers sweep. The losses now assure that URI will not reach the 30-win mark in the regular season as they drop to 6-24 on the year. Additionally, the Rams are 2-8 in Atlantic 10 play as they’ve now lost four straight games overall.
Friday’s opener saw Rhody ace Ty Sterner face off against Dayton’s Joe Wahl. Rhode Island jumped on Wahl right away as Connor Foreman delivered an RBI single in the top of the first to put Rhody on top. The Flyers answered right back in the bottom of the first as they took advantage of Sterner’s control troubles. With two outs, the URI starter issued back-to-back walks before A.J. Ryan made him pay, knocking an RBI single to knot the game at one. And that’s where things stayed until the bottom of the seventh… when things really came undone for the Rams. The Flyers broke through for six runs of Sterner and URI reliever Blaise Whitman. Rhode Island wasn’t able to recover despite a small rally in the ninth as they fell 8-3.
Saturday’s matinee was perhaps the toughest loss for Rhody this weekend as they dropped a 1-0 decision to Dayton. Rhode Island starter Lou Distasio followed up his complete game one-hitter with another brilliant performance as he allowed just one unearned run and four hits over seven innings of work. But Flyers starter Noah Buettgen was just as masterful, going the distance for the complete game shutout. The Rams managed just five hits on the afternoon, and a T.J. Lynch error in the bottom of the second opened the door for the only Dayton run of the game.
Sunday’s finale saw freshman Tyler Barss make his first collegiate start, and it went pretty well. The 5’10” righty allowed just one hit and one unearned run over three innings of work as he did not factor into the decision. But a rough inning of relief from Tyler Bowditch saw Dayton plate three runs, which proved to be the decider in an 9-5 URI loss. The Rams crept to within one run at 6-5 in the eighth inning, but Nick Narodowy allowed Dayton to tack on three insurance runs in the bottom half of the inning to close out the series sweep. Once again, defense was an issue for Rhody as three Ram errors led to three unearned runs.
With each passing game it’s looking less and less likely that the URI baseball team will finish up this year with a winning record. Between pitching, hitting, and defense, it’s pretty easy to make the case that Rhode Island has taken a step back in all three areas this season. The Rams will get another crack at getting back into the win column tomorrow afternoon when they take on Boston College.