May 18, 2013

Rhody Closes Regular Season with 10-5 Win at Saint Joseph's

Rhody's Starting Lineup
Roy (CF), Caputo (SS), Stenhouse (RF), LeBel (3B), O'Connell (C), Fortunato (2B), Quinn (1B), Lee (LF), Landi (RF), Bowditch (P) 

St. Joe's Starting Lineup
Forgey (RF), Kancylarz (3B), Muha (1B), O'Keefe (C), Hueth (LF), Kumpel (DH), Cirillo (SS), Renner (2B), Kratochwill (CF), Carter (P)  

How it Happened
Rhode Island (34-22, 17-7) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first as Tim Caputo scored on an RBI-single by Mike LeBel and Shane O'Connell doubled to drive in LeBel and Kevin Stenhouse, who took first after being hit by a pitch. A two-run double by Tim Caputo scored Jeff Roy and Jesse Lee the following inning to give URI a 5-0 advantage.

Saint Joseph's (26-26, 12-12) got on the board with a single run in the bottom of the third but Rhody quickly reclaimed its five-run lead when Jesse Lee crossed the plate to make it 6-1 in the top of the fourth.

The Rams added four more runs in the top of the sixth - on an RBI groundout by Roy, an RBI single by Stenhouse and a two-run homer by LeBel - before the Hawks countered with a three-run seventh to make it a 10-4 game. SJU tacked on one more in the bottom of fifth to close out the scoring at 10-5.

Inside the Box Score

  • Each of Rhody's nine hitters reached base at least once as the Rams combined for 12 hits on the afternoon. It marked the eighth game in a row that URI hits in double digits. 
  • Mike LeBel extended the URI home run record to 30 with his sixth-inning round tripper. He finished the day with two hits, two runs scored and three RBI.
  • Shane O'Connell and Tim Caputo each collected three hits on the afternoon. Caputo also drove in three and scored twice while O'Connell had a pair of RBI.
  • Jordan Carter took the loss for the Hawks, allowing 10 runs (eight earned) on 
  • Tyler Bowditch (2-0) allowed just one run on three hits over five innings of work in his first career Atlantic 10 start. 

What's Next
The Rams return to action on Wednesday, May 22, when they open play at the Atlantic 10 Championship. Rhode Island will enter the seven-team tournament as either the #2 or #3 seed, depending on the outcome of this afternoon's Saint Louis vs. Charlotte game. 

Should the Billikens win that matchup, Rhody, Charlotte and SLU will finish in a three-way tie for first place in the conference standings (17-7). Based on the A-10 tie-breaking procedures, Rhode Island would wind up a #3 seed.

A Charlotte victory over Saint Louis would guarantee the 49ers sole possession of the regular-season title, with Rhode Island finishing second overall - good for the #2 seed.

Final conference standings and tournament pairings will be announced on the Atlantic 10's website later tonight.