March 18, 2009
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The Rhode Island baseball team improved to 10-5 on the season with a doubleheader sweep of William and Mary, Wednesday night at Plumeri Park. Rhody captured the first game by a score of 11-9 before shutting out the Tribe, 3-0, in game two.
Sophomore Gardner Leaver (Montauk, N.Y.) and junior Dan Rossignol (Nashua, N.H.) both picked up wins on the mound for URI while senior Luke Demko (Gilford, N.H.) and junior Nick Greenwood (Southington, Conn.) were each credited with a save.
Offensively, the Rams were led by senior Dan Rhault (Lincoln, R.I.) who went 3-for-4 on the night with three runs, two RBI and four walks. Freshman Mike LeBel (Quincy, Mass.), junior Rob DeVeney (Marlton, N.J.) and classmate Oliver Palmer (North Kingstown, R.I.) also finished with three hits apiece while DeVeney added three RBI and two runs and Palmer crossed the plate three times.
In game one, Palmer and Rhault gave the Rams an early lead with back-to-back solo shots in the first inning. For Rhault, the homerun was his team-leading third of the season while Palmer currently leads the squad with 34 total bases
The Tribe came back and plated three in the bottom of the second before a two-run double by DeVeney and an RBI-double by junior Zoey Angulo (Miami, Fla.) put Rhody ahead, 6-3, in the third.
Sophomore Jeff Cammans (Jamestown, R.I.) launched one over the left center fence to give URI a 7-4 advantage in the top of the fourth but W&M got one back in the bottom of the frame and went up 8-7 after a four-run sixth.
DeVeney led off the seventh with a single to left center, advanced to second on a Cammans ground-out and took third on a wild pitch. Freshman Mike LeBel (Quincy, Mass.) then singled to right to plate DeVeney before stealing second and advancing to third on a throwing error by Tribe catcher Chris Forsten. Freshman Milan Adams (Exeter, R.I.) followed with a run-scoring single to right but a homerun by W&M's Brett Connor knotted things at 9-9 in the bottom of the inning.
The Rams locked up the 11-9 win in the top of the eighth as Rhault scored on a wild pitch and sophomore Tom Coulombe (Lincoln, R.I.) crossed the plate on DeVeney's third hit of the game.
Leaver earned the win for Rhode Island, giving up just two hits in two and two thirds innings of relief to improve to 2-0 on the season. Demko - who threw the final 1.1 innings - pitched his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth to pick up his fourth save of the season. William and Mary's Logan Billbrough was charged with the loss.
In game two, Rossignol struck out five batters and allowed just four hits as he tossed five scoreless innings for the Rams. Greenwood hurled the final two innings for Rhody to pick up his first career save.
Freshman Mike Eschmann (Flanders, N.J.) scored URI's first run - in the third inning - after reaching first and advancing to second on an error by shortstop Lanny Stanfield. Sophomore Pete Mastors (Narragansett, R.I.) then reached base on a walk while Eschmann took third on a wild pitch. Mastors went on to steal second and Eschmann headed home on the throw down. Eschmann was safe at the plate while Mastors advanced to third on the throw before scoring on an RBI-single by Rhault.
Rhault also had a hand in Rhody's final run as Palmer sent a double down the left field line and came around to score on Rhault's single up the middle.
Chris Yates took the game two loss for William and Mary, which fell to 5-11 on the season.
The Rams return to action on Friday afternoon when they open Atlantic 10 Conference play with the first of three games at George Washington. First pitch between the Rams and Colonials is set for 3 p.m. at Barcroft Park in Arlington, Va.