In perhaps their biggest series of the season, the Rhode Island baseball team came through when it mattered most. The Rams needed to take two of three (or better) against the St. Bonaventure Bonnies this weekend to climb out of the basement in the Atlantic 10. And they did exactly that, winning the final two games this weekend to move into 12th place – a game ahead of the Bonnies. It’s a small victory in an otherwise lost season, but if Rhody can hang on, they’ll avoid finishing last in the conference. The 2-1 weekend moves URI to 11-34 on the season, including a 6-13 mark in the A-10.
The Rams saw a hard-fought comeback fall short in Friday’s series opener, their only loss of the weekend. Ty Sterner got the start for Rhody, with Asa Johnson on the bump for SBU. Bonaventure played single runs in the first and second as Sterner exited in favor of Brad Applin. Despite his struggles as of late, Applin was dominant, pitching six innings of one-run ball to keep URI in the game. An eighth inning RBI single from Dan Hetzel got Rhode Island as close as 3-2, but the Bonnies added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth off Matt Ferraiolo. The Rams had runners at second and third with one out in the ninth but they were only able to plate one of those runs as they fell 4-3.
Saturday’s game was another close one, but Rhody was was able to squeeze out a 3-2 win in 10 innings. URI’s Lou Distasio and Bonaventure’s Connor Grey were both lights out, as the starters dueled through the first eight innings, each allowing just one run. Grey actually pitched a full nine innings, but left the game with things knotted at one a side. The Rams were glad to see him exit, as they jumped all over new pitcher Steven Klimek in the 10th. Rhode Island plated a pair of runs, with the big blow coming via a Mike Corin RBI single. The Bonnies mounted a comeback in the bottom of the inning, but Tyler Barss came out of the bullpen to record the final two outs for the save.
In a welcome change, Sunday’s finale was no contest. URI starter Steve Moyers pitched brilliantly, as he got plenty of run support as the Rams coasted to a 7-2 win. Mike Sherburne was the star on offense for Rhody as he delivered a three-run homer in the top of the sixth to add to a two hit, four RBI day. Shane O’Connell delivered an RBI of his own to go along with three hits, and Pat Quinn racked up three doubles to power the Rhody offense. As for Moyers, he went eight strong innings, allowing just one earned run while striking out seven. It was a strong performance all around, with Rhode Island racking up their second-straight win.
Their reward? A week off. URI has no games this coming week, but they’ll be back on the road in Atlantic 10 play this weekend. The Rams will head to the nation’s capital to take on George Washington in a three-game set beginning this Friday.