Ninth-Inning Rally Sends Rams Past Pioneers, 10-9

Rhode Island Lineup
Caputo (SS), DeRegis (CF), Quinn (1B), Gardella (DH), O'Connell (C), Sherburne (RF), Hetzel (LF), Warnock (3B), Hopkins (2B), Doonan (P)

Sacred Heart Lineup
Shaw (2B), Klebart (3B), Short (SS), Sullivan (RF), McEvoy (DH), Sorrento (1B), Byram (LF), Friar (C), Flint (CF), Maguire (P) 

How it Happened
For the second time this season, Rhode Island rallied back from a ninth-inning deficit and walked off with the win, this time defeating Sacred Heart, 10-9, on Tuesday afternoon at Bill Beck Field. Trailing 9-8 in the ninth, Rhode Island junior Nick DeRegis reached on an error and took second on a failed pickoff attempt. Senior Pat Quinn then singled to left to advance DeRegis, who evened the score up at 9-9 on a pinch-hit double by redshirt freshman Mike Corin. Pinch running for Quinn, senior Jonathan Nazarko then went on to score the winning run on junior Mike Sherburne's bases-loaded blast that nearly cleared the left field wall.

Rhode Island (4-13) had jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second with freshmen RJ Warnock and David Hopkins drawing back-to-back bases loaded walks to score redshirt sophomore Derek Gardella and junior Mike Sherburne. Freshman Dan Hetzel then scored when Sacred Heart catcher Jake Friar's pickoff attempt rolled out into left field before Warnock crossed the plate on a single to center by junior Tim Caputo.

After being no-hit for the first four innings, Sacred Heart (5-8) responded with an eight spot in the top of the fifth but a four-run seventh by the Rams evened things up at 8-8.

The Pioneers got a sac fly to reclaim the lead in the top of the eighth before the Rams stormed back and put things away in the ninth.

Inside the Box Score

  • Rhode Island finished the day with 12 hits, marking the third straight games the Rams finish with 10+. Prior to this stretch, URI had not eclipsed 10 hits in any of its first 13 games.
  • Junior Tim Caputo paced the Rhody offense with a 3-for-5 day at the plate. He also scored once and drove in a run.
  • Junior Mike Sherburne and redshirt sophomore Derek Gardella each finished with two hits and a run scored. Gardella also drove in two while Sherburne had one RBI - the game-winner.
  • Senior pinch runner Jonathan Nazarko scored the game-winning run for the Rams. Nazarko was just added to the Rams' roster this afternoon after finishing his senior season with the URI men's basketball team.
  • Junior Nick DeRegis extended his hit streak to a team-best six games as he reached three times - by hit, walk and error - and scored a pair of runs.
  • Freshman RJ Warnock has now reached base in each of the Rams last 12 games as he drew a second-inning walk. Warnock ended the day with a run scored and an RBI, despite going 0-for-2.
  • Classmate David Hopkins was walked in each of his three trips to the plate, recording an RBI and a run scored in an 0-for-0 afternoon.
  • Redshirt junior Brendan Doonan made his first career start for the Rams and cruised through four no-hit innings before allowing four runs on three hits in the top of the fifth. Prior to today's game, Doonan had 37 career appearances, all of which were out of the bullpen.
  • Freshman Tyler Barss made his first career appearance for the Rams, coming on in relief of classmate Taso Stathopoulos in the top of the fifth. Barss got back-to-back strikeouts to get the Rams out of a messy fifth and retired the next five in a row before allowing his only hit of the day with two away in the seventh.
  • Redshirt freshman Matt Ferraiolo earned the win - the first of his career - as he tossed two complete innings without allowing a hit.
  • Sacred Heart reliever Jesus Medina was charged with the loss as he was responsible for both the tying and go-ahead run in the ninth. Medina had stood in line for the win as he had previously retired the first six Rams he faced in the seventh and eighth.

What's Next
The Rams return to The Beck this weekend when they open Atlantic 10 play with a three-game set against defending Atlantic 10 champion Saint Louis. The Rams and Billikens will play at 3 p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m. on Saturday and Noon on Sunday.