Now that’s more like it. The Rhode Island Rams picked up a nice little come-from-behind win this afternoon as they defeated Brown 12-7 at Bill Beck Field. Down 7-4 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Rhody exploded for eight runs against the Bears’ bullpen to pick up their second-straight victory. The win moves URI to 9-31 on the season, including a 6-12 mark at home.
Brown sent lefty sophomore Austin French to the hill this afternoon, and Rhode Island countered with senior Tyler Bowditch. Thanks to a bit of control trouble, French found himself in some trouble right out the gate. The Rams loaded the bases in the bottom of the first thanks to a walk and two singles before another walk (to URI’s Derek Gardella) forced in the first Rhody run of the game. Rhode Island would add another in the inning on a Shane O’Connell RBI ground out as they took a 2-0 lead into the second. But the Bears we able to get to Bowditch in the second. They opened the frame with four straight hits, including two doubles as they plated four runs overall to take a 4-2 lead.
Meanwhile, French settled down. He held the Rams scoreless through the next five innings and exited the game with the same 4-2 lead after six. On the other side, URI freshman Evan Flanagan came in and matched French’s zeros… until the seventh inning. Brown tacked on an unearned insurance run on a double-play ground out as they pushed the lead to 5-2. Rhody would close the gap to 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh, but the Bears got both of those back as they had a 7-4 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth.
But the Brown bullpen? Not so strong. Jake Spezial allowed the first two Rams to reach in the bottom of the eighth before retiring the next two hitters… little did he know that it was the calm before the storm. A single, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch later and Spezial was out of the game, although his team was still clinging to a 7-6 lead. The Bears turned a bases-loaded, two out situation over to Nathan Mann, and, well… here’s what his first four batters looked like:
O’CONNELL, Shane walked, RBI; GARDELLA, Derek advanced to second; BUONOPANE, Thomas advanced to third; CORIN, Mike scored.
TAVERAS, Martin singled to left field, 2 RBI; O’CONNELL, Shane advanced to second; GARDELLA, Derek scored; BUONOPANE, Thomas scored.
LYNCH, TJ singled up the middle, RBI; TAVERAS, Martin advanced to second; O’CONNELL, Shane scored.
OLMO, Ryan doubled to left field, 2 RBI; LYNCH, TJ scored; TAVERAS, Martin scored.
7-7, then 9-7, then 10-7, and finally 12-7 as URI rocked Mann to put the game out of reach. Rhode Island’s Matt Ferraiolo allowed the first two runners to reach in the top of the ninth, but he got a big double play to keep Brown off the board as Rhody picked up the win.
Hey look, two in a row! Can they make it three (and four) tomorrow? The Rams will welcome the Boston College Eagles to The Beck tomorrow for a little Tuesday double-header action. First pitch in game one is slated for 2:30 p.m.