April 26, 2009
NORRISTOWN, Pa. - Senior Dan Rhault (Lincoln, R.I.) went 3-for-4 with a double and home run, pacing the Rhode Island baseball team to a 6-1 victory over Saint Joseph's on Sunday afternoon. Six different Rams crossed the plate for URI as each of Rhody's starters reached base at least once.
Junior starter Eric Smith (Milford, Conn.) earned the win on the mound for URI, striking out seven batters while allowing just four hits and one unearned run over six innings of work. Smith is now 5-1 on the season with a 2.72 ERA.
The win also improves the first-place Rams to 29-13-1 (15-2) while St. Joes falls to 14-22-1 (7-10). URI has now won 12 of its last 13 games and 11 consecutive Atlantic 10 contests, including series sweeps of second-place Dayton, La Salle (two games), St. Bonaventure and Saint Joseph's.
URI took a 1-0 lead over the Hawks in the top of the second when sophomore Jeff Cammans (Jamestown, R.I.) drew a two-out walk before stealing second and eventually scoring on a double to center by freshman Mike LeBel (Quincy, Mass.).
The Hawks took advantage of a Rhody throwing error to even things at 1-1 in the bottom of the third but the unearned run was all the home team would get as it failed to record more than one hit in any of the remaining innings.
Rhault's solo-shot made it 2-1 Rhode Island in the top of the fifth while an RBI single by Cammans plated junior Luis Chacon (Coventry, R.I.) the following inning to put Rhody ahead 3-1.
A seventh-inning throwing error by SJU's David Valesente resulted in a pair of unearned runs for the Rams making the score 5-1 before junior Rob DeVeney (Marlton, N.J.) scored on a first-and-third double steal play in the top of the eighth.
Junior Mark Fraser (Nashua, N.H.) - who came on to relieve Smith in the bottom of the sixth - was perfect over an inning and two-thirds, striking out three of the minimum five batters he faced. Sophomore Gardner Leaver (Montauk, N.Y.) finished off the eighth with a fly-out before senior Luke Demko (Gilford, N.H.) closed things out in the ninth.
The Rams return to action on Tuesday afternoon when they travel to Holy Cross for a 3 p.m. game against the Crusaders.