May 7, 2011
KINGSTON, R.I. - Senior Tom Coulombe went 3-for-3 with two runs and three RBI as the Rhode Island baseball team downed UMass, 9-5, on Saturday afternoon at Bill Beck Field. With 157 career runs scored, Coulombe is now the all-time leader at the University of Rhode Island.
The Rams - who have won nine of their last 10 Atlantic 10 games - improve to 14-6 in the conference and 28-17 overall. The victory also guarantees the series win for URI - its sixth in a row after dropping two-of-three at Charlotte in the opening week of league play.
Junior Mike LeBel recorded three hits and three RBI on the afternoon, extending his hit streak to a season-best 10 games. Senior Kenny Burns, meanwhile, went 2-for-3 with a game-high three runs scored.
Redshirt junior Greg Annarummo and redshirt sophomore Pat Fortunato also turned in multiple-hit performances on the afternoon. Annarummo was one of three Rams to drive in three runs, marking his ninth multiple-RBI game of the season.
Senior starter Ken Graveline picked up the win on the hill, striking out six batters and allowing just two earned runs to improve to 6-3 on the year. Sophomore Mike Bradstreet earned the save, as he came on with two away in the eighth and the go-ahead run on first base.
LeBel put Rhody on the board in the bottom of the first, singling to left to push across Burns and Coulombe for the early 2-0 advantage. Burns scored again in the third - on a sac-fly by Coulombe - to give Rhody a 3-0 lead.
However, UMass (15-25, 6-11) clawed its way back with a run in the fourth and another in the fifth before tying things up at 3-3 in the top of the seventh.
The Rams moved back in front in the bottom of the frame though, taking a 6-3 lead after three consecutive RBI singles by Coulombe, Annarummo and LeBel.
The Minutemen would close the gap once again - this time getting within one on a two-run shot by Tom Conley - but a Rhody three spot in the bottom of the inning put things out of reach.
Massachusetts starter Charlie Benson took the loss, giving up six runs (five earned) on 12 hits over 6.2 innings.
The Rams and Minutemen return to Bill Beck Field to close out the series on Sunday at Noon. Fans are encouraged to arrive early as the Rams will hold a brief pre-game ceremony to honor their graduating seniors.