May 23, 2009
DAYTON, Ohio - The Rhode Island baseball team dropped its second game of the day to Xavier, 10-1, in a winner-takes-all matchup at the 2009 Atlantic 10 Championship. The loss marks the third consecutive season that the Musketeers have eliminated URI from the league tournament.
Junior Oliver Palmer (North Kingstown, R.I.), sophomore Tom Coulombe (Lincoln, R.I.) and junior Nick Greenwood (Southington, Conn.) each earned All-Championship honors for their respective performances over the course of the Championship.
Rhode Island (37-20-1) finished with 10 hits in the Championship game, compared to 12 by Xavier. The Rams also stranded 10 base runners on the night.
Xavier was solid defensively as well, robbing URI of two big hits on the night - first when Steve Brown crashed into the left field wall to snag a fourth inning shot by Palmer and again in the top of the sixth when senior Dan Rhault (Lincoln, R.I.) drilled one to straightaway centerfield that Adam Pasono jumped back into the wall to pull down.
Xavier (38-19) came out and plated four runs in the bottom of the first inning thanks, in part, to a three-run bomb by designated hitter Ben Thomas. The Musketeers added one more in the bottom of the third when Bobby Freking doubled to left center to score Neil Lindgren.
Sophomore Jeff Cammans (Jamestown, R.I.) singled up the middle in the top of the fifth and advanced to second on a wild pitch before moving to third on a fly-out to right by junior Rob DeVeney (Marlton, N.J.). However, a strikeout by freshman Milan Adams (Exeter, R.I.) ended the inning before Rhody could do any damage.
Xavier then plated three more in the bottom of the fifth to take an 8-0 lead before URI got its first - and only - run of the game in the top of the seventh. Cammans got on base with a one-out single to right center and advanced to second on a balk before crossing the plate when freshman pinch hitter Dan Haverstick (Marlton, N.J.) singled to right center.
The Musketeers tacked on two more in the bottom of the inning though to go up 10-1.
Rhody loaded the bases in the top of the eighth after Palmer and Rhault strung together back-to-back singles and Coulombe was hit by a pitch. The Rams were unable to capitalize though as freshman Adam Derner (River Dell, N.J.) popped up to shallow left field and Cammans fouled out to the catcher to end the eighth.
Rhode Island didn't go down without a fight, however, as Haverstick and DeVeney led off the top of the ninth with back-to-back base hits. Palmer then singled to centerfield with two outs but Haverstick was thrown out at the plate to end the game.
With the A-10 Championship title, Xavier receives the league's automatic bid into the 2009 NCAA Tournament. ESPN will air the tourney pairings on Monday, May 25th at 12:30 p.m.