Rhode Island baseball outscored UMass 14-1 in three games over the weekend, and they now sit alone in first place in the A-10 standings.
Well this certainly qualifies as “getting hot at the right time”. The Rhode Island Rams swept A-10 rival UMass — in convincing fashion — at home over the weekend. URI has now won nine in a row, good enough to vault them into first place atop the Atlantic 10 standings. Rhody now sits at 28-16 (16-4) — a half game ahead of second place VCU.
Here’s a rundown of all the action.
Saturday (Game One)
Thanks to rain in the Kingston area on Friday, Rhode Island baseball and UMass played the series opener on Saturday. And it was all Rams as they picked up a 5-0 shutout victory. Third baseman Matt O’Neil (3-for-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI) led the way at the plate while ace Matt Murphy was phenomenal on the hill.
The junior righty pitched seven shutout innings, scattering just four hits while fanning nine for his fifth win of the season. Ben Wessel pitched the ninth in his first appearance on the mound this season. And Jordan Powell, Mike Corin, and Martin Figueroa all joined O’Neil in the “multi-hit game” category.
Saturday (Game Two)
Well, this game started on Saturday, at least. Rhody ran out to a(nother) 5-0 lead before this game was halted in the bottom of the sixth inning. The action resumed today, but the result didn’t change as URI picked up their second-straight shutout win — this time by a 6-0 margin.
Once again, the bats were red hot for the Rams. Mike Corin opened the scoring with a three run bomb in the bottom of the first, and that would be all Taso Stathopoulos would need. The righty pitched four and two-thirds innings of shutout ball before being lifted in favor of Nick Johnson.
Johnson was credited with the win as he and Dom Grillo combined to finish off the shutout. Matt O’Neil homered for the second straight game, while Mike Foley added an RBI double as part of a 2-for-4 day(s).
Solid pitching. Matt O’Neil home run. Mike Corin home run. Rinse. Repeat. The script remained the same for URI as they finished off the sweep with a 3-1 win this afternoon. Freshman Vitaly Jangols notched his sixth win of the year as he tossed eight strong innings. And Tyler Barss pitched a perfect ninth for his 10th save of the season.
Aside from the two solo shots from O’Neil and Corin, Chris Hess added an RBI single to round out the scoring. Rhode Island did their damage late, plating all of their runs in the seventh and eighth innings to erase UMass’ early 1-0 lead.
Next up is… well, some rest for the Rams. They’re off during the week before returning to action on Friday against George Mason. Rhody will host the Patriots in a three-game series.