Much like their last Atlantic 10 series, the Rhode Island baseball team dropped the first two this weekend before picking up a thrilling victory in Sunday’s affair. This time, instead of a walk-off home run, it was a brilliant complete-game shutout from Rhody’s Steve Moyers. Still, the Kingston Rams couldn’t come away with the series win against VCU as they now sit at 8-31 on the season, including 4-12 in A-10 play.
URI suffered one of their most crushing losses of the season in Friday’s series opener. It started with Ty Sterner on the hill for Rhode Island, facing VCU’s Matt Blanchard. Rhody got things going early, plating single runs in the first and second innings as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Mike Corin doubled in the first run, while the second run came via a throwing error on a pickoff attempt. Meanwhile, Sterner was coasting. He allowed a Bill Cullen home run to lead off the fifth inning, but it was still 2-1 URI heading into the eighth. Virginia Commonwealth was able to tie things up against Sterner in the eighth when a Cody Acker RBI single plated an unearned run. And in the ninth, it was Cullen once again. The VCU center fielder slugged a three-run home run off Brad Applin, and the bad-guy Rams took a 5-2 lead. Rhody had one more shot as they loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but VCU closer Matt Lees got a big double-play to close out the victory.
Saturday’s game saw Rhode Island fall 5-2 once again, but the circumstances were much different. This one was all about VCU starter JoJo Howie, who held URI at bay in the complete game victory. Rhody starter Lou Distasio was solid as well, but a three-run third was all Virginia Commonwealth would need to take the second game of the series. The big blow came from shortstop Vimael Machin, who delivered a big two-out, two-run double to put VCU on top 3-0. Rhody got two of those runs back in the seventh inning thanks to RBI singles from both Chase Livingston and Tim Caputo, but VCU struck back for a pair of insurance runs in the top of the eighth to put the game out of reach.
This afternoon’s finale saw a URI win, and it was all about Moyers. The Rhode Island lefty allowed just three hits as he went the distance for his first win of the season. Rhody didn’t exactly tear the cover off the ball, as their runs came from a pair of RBI groundouts and a throwing error. But it was more than enough for Moyers as struck out five in the complete game shutout victory.
URI has picked up several exciting wins this season, but they’ve failed to build on any of them. They’ll get another chance to do just that tomorrow when they welcome the Brown Bears to The Beck. First pitch is set for 3:00 p.m.