May 16, 2011
KINGSTON, R.I. - Rhode Island junior Mike LeBel hit his seventh home run of the season as the Rhode Island baseball team fell to No. 15 Connecticut, 4-1, on Monday afternoon at Bill Beck Field. With 23 career homers, LeBel is now tied with Dan Batz `04 for first all-time at URI.
LeBel also extended his hit streak to a season-high 12 games with a 3-for-4 day at the plate while freshman Jeff Roy's seventh-inning walk put him of base for the 17th consecutive game. Redshirt junior Jeff Cammans, meanwhile, finished with two hits and three stolen bases on the day as the Rams combined for a season high seven thefts.
On the hill, redshirt senior starter Stephen Peterson gave up just one hit over three three shutout innings before handing the ball over to senior Ken Graveline, who was charged with the loss after allowing one run on two hits in the fourth inning. UConn's Bob Van Woert, meanwhile, picked up the win as he tossed 5.2 scoreless innings for the Huskies.
LeBel nearly put the Rams (29-18) on the board in the bottom of the second as he singled down the left field line, stole second and advanced to third on a ground out by junior Milan Adams before UConn shortstop Tom Verdi made a diving stop on redshirt junior Dan Haverstick's ball to the left side and gunned over to first to end the inning.
Verdi halted the Rams' chances again in the third, making another inning-ending play with runners on second and third.
The Huskies (37-14-1) then opened the scoring in the top of the fourth when George Springer scored on a two-out single by Doug Elliott. Connecticut added two more in the fifth before tacking on another in the sixth to take a 4-0 lead.
Rhody - which stranded nine batters over the first seven innings - finally got on the board in the bottom of the eighth when LeBel sent a solo shot over the left field fence to prevent the Rams from being shut out for the first time all season. However, that was as close as URI would get as Connecticut held on for the 4-1 win.
Fans who were unable to attend the game can catch Cox Sports' tape delayed broadcast on Wednesday (May 18) at 7 p.m. and again on Sunday (May 22) at 1 p.m.
The Rams return to action tomorrow afternoon when they travel to Hartford to close out their non-conference slate with a 3 p.m. game against the Hawks.