May 14, 2013

LeBel, Livingston Power Rams to Win Over Huskies

Rhody's Starting Lineup
Caputo (SS), Roy (CF), LeBel (3B), Fortunato (1B), Stenhouse (RF), Livingston (1B), O'Connell (C), Gardella (DH), Famiglietti (LF), Mantle (P)

Connecticut's Starting Lineup
Verdi (SS), Paul (RF), Mazzilli (2B), Ferriter (CF), Melley (1B), Siena (DH), McDowell (C), Yavarone (LF), Daniello (3B), Colletti (P)

How it Happened
Rhode Island (31-22) scored in each of the first three innings, jumping out to a 6-1 lead early. Senior Mike LeBel and freshman Chase Livingston each homered, while redshirt freshman Derek Gardella added a two-run single to help the Rams establish the early advantage.

Rhody starter Milan Mantle earned his fifth win of the season, limiting Connecticut (28-25) to just two runs on five hits in five innings of work. Mantle has now won each of his last five decisions. Relief pitchers Rob Curran and Lou Distasio held the Huskies to one run over the final four frames.

Inside the Box Score

  • Senior Mike LeBel had his fourth three-hit game of the season, including the 29th home run of his career in the bottom of the first. The home run extended his school record, and also made LeBel the school's all-time leader in extra-base hits. He added a double later in the game, giving him 94 career extra-base hits (53 doubles, 12 triples, 29 home runs). LeBel now has 262 career hits, which is second in URI history. 
  • Freshman Chase Livingston hit his first career home run, a solo shot to left field to lead off the second inning. 
  • Junior Shane O'Connell had two hits and one run scored.
  • Redshirt freshman Derek Gardella had a two-run single and a walk.
  • Sophomore Tim Caputo doubled and drove in one run. He has reached base safely in 15 straight games.
  • Senior Kevin Stenhouse singled and stole a base. The hit extended his hitting streak to six games, the team's longest active streak.
  • Rhode Island had 11 hits. It was the fifth straight game the Rams have had a double-digit hit total. 
  • Rhody is now 21-8 when it scores the first run of the game.  
  • Before the game, a moment of silence was held for UConn senior Travis Brennan, who died of brain cancer May 8. Brennan was the clubhouse manager for the Connecticut Tigers, which plays its home games at Dodd Stadium. The Tigers are the New York-Penn League affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.

What's Next
The Rams head to Saint Joseph's for a three-game series starting Thursday, May 16 (3 p.m.) to close out the regular season. Heading into the series, Rhode Island is tied for fourth place in the Atlantic 10 standings. Saint Joseph's is tied for seventh place, two games behind the Rams. The top seven teams make the conference tournament.