March 2, 2014

Rams Rally Back, Walk Off with 6-5 Win Over Marshall

Rhode Island Lineup
Sherburne (CF), Hess (3B), Hetzel (RF), Gardella (DH), Malone (LF), Corin (1B), Livingston (C), Taveras (2B), Warnock (SS), Distasio (P)

Marshall Lineup
Leon (SS), Vogelbach (DH), Dundon (2B), Garrastazu (CF), Reed (C), Diffenderfer (1B), Escobedo (RF), Bossi (3B), Fajardo (LF), Blackburn (P)

How it Happened
Rhode Island (2-10) took full advantage of being the home team for the first time this season, staging a ninth-inning comeback to defeat Marshall 6-5. 

After recording just three hits over the first eight innings, the Rams' bats came alive in the top of the ninth with Rhody trailing 5-3. Redshirt senior Shane O'Connell drew a leadoff walk to get things started and advanced to third on a single up the middle by sophomore Connor Foreman. Freshman TJ Lynch then singled to left to score O'Connell before sophomore Chase Livingston's perfectly placed bunt back to the mound loaded the bases with no outs. 

Freshman Martin Taveras then singled through the left side to plate Foreman and even the score at 5-5. From there, junior Tim Caputo - who had missed the last 13 days with an injury - came in as a pinch hitter and sent a sac-fly into left field to drive in Lynch for the 6-5 victory.

The Rams had led 1-0 after one inning and 3-1 after two, but Marshall tied it up at 3-3 in the top of the third. The Herd (3-8) then capitalized on a bases-loaded, two-out error in the top of the eighth, scoring twice to take a 5-3 lead. Rhody refused to go quietly though, rallying back in the ninth for the 6-5 win. 

Inside the Box Score

  • Six different Rams scored in the win: freshmen Martin Taveras, TJ Lynch, sophomores Chase Livingston and Connor Foreman, junior Mike Sherburne and redshirt senior Shane O'Connell.
  • URI also had six different players drive in runs: Sherburne, Lynch, Taveras, junior Tim Caputo and freshmen Dan Hetzel and RJ Warnock.
  • Taveras reached base three times, going 1-for-2 and being hit twice. 
  • Livingston was the only Ram to record more than one hit as he went 2-for-4 on the afternoon.
  • Sophomore Lou Distasio fanned a career-high six batters over four-plus innings. He walked just one while scattering seven hits in the no-decision start.
  • Junior Ty Sterner allowed just two hits while striking out four over 3.2 innings of relief. He gave up two runs (both unearned) in the top of the eighth. 
  • Sophomore Brad Applin took over from there, getting a bases-loaded strikeout to end the eighth before retiring Marshall in order in the ninth to pick up his first win of the season.
  • Through 12 games this season, the Rams have started with 12 different batting orderes and 12 different defensive lineups.

What's Next
After playing their first 12 games on the road, the Rams return to Kingston for their home opener vs. UMass Lowell on Saturday, March 8. First pitch at Bill Beck Field is set for 1 p.m.