April 20, 2014

Quinn's Ninth-Inning Blast Leads Rhody Past Mason, 7-6

Rhode Island Lineup
Caputo (SS), O'Connell (C), Sherburne (RF), Quinn (1B), Corin (3B), Foreman (DH), DeRegis (LF), Buonopane (CF), Hopkins (2B), Moyers (P)  

George Mason Lineup
Willis (CF), Gum (SS), Fernandez (3B), Tobin (LF), Leemhuis (RF), Toto (C), Hill (DH), Cook (2B), Foley (1B), Williams (P)   

How it Happened
Rhode Island (7-27, 3-10) rallied back from a 6-2 deficit, scoring four runs in the seventh to even the game at 6-6 and set up Pat Quinn's game-winning blast in the bottom of the ninth. It marked the Rams' third walk-off win of the season as URI also rallied back to beat Marshall and Sacred Heart in the bottom of the ninth.

Rhody got on the board first, scoring its first run of the series in the bottom of the third when Shane O'Connell singled through the right side to drive in Thomas Buonopane. Buonopane went on to put Rhody up 2-0 in his next trip to the plate, slapping a bases-loaded groundout to second base to score Mike Corin.

George Mason (22-13, 9-4) responded with a five-run fifth inning, however, taking advantage of three Rhode Island errors and pushing across four unearned runs. The Patriots added another in the top of the sixth, extending their lead to 6-2 after a run by Mick Foley.

The Rams came back with four runs on six hits - more hits than they had recorded in either of the first two games of the series - in the bottom of the frame to tie the score at six apiece. Tim Caputo started the rally with a one-out single up the middle, followed by a Shane O'Connell base hit and a run-scoring knock by Mike Sherburne. Quinn then doubled to right center, but Sherburne got hung up between second and third when O'Connell didn't score on the play and Quinn took two bases.

With two away, Mike Corin then singled to right to drive in both Quinn and O'Connell before Connor Forman's RBI single plated Corin and made it a 6-6 game.

Josh Leemhuis reached via error for Mason in the top of the eighth, but was caught stealing by O'Connell on an attempt to advance. The following inning, Chris Cook drew a leadoff walk but suffered a similar fate as O'Connell picked him off for the second out of the inning.

Quinn then sealed the victory with two away in the ninth, sending a 2-1 offering out of the park for the 7-6 walkoff win.

Inside the Box Score

  • Pat Quinn finished the day with three hits - including a double and a home run - two runs scored and an RBI.
  • Quinn has now contributed to the winning run in two of URI's three walk-off wins as he singled in the ninth against Sacred Heart, before being replaced by pinch-runner Jonathan Nazarko, who went on to score the game-winning run.
  • Mike Sherburne had a 3-for-5 day at the plate while Shane O'Connell and Mike Corin each collected a pair of hits. 
  • Corin also reached once via walk, while scoring twice and driving in a pair of runs to finish the series with a team-best .571 batting average.
  • Each of Rhody's 1-8 batters had at least one hit on the day with five different Rams coming around to score on RBI by six different players.
  • Thomas Buonopane earned his first career start in the win, recording three putouts in centerfield. He also collected his first career hit, run and RBI against Mason in addition to scoring URI's first run of the series in the bottom of the third.
  • Starter Steve Moyers went five innings in the no-decision start. He recorded five strikeouts opposite just one walk and allowed five runs, four of which were unearned.
  • Moyers has now lowered his ERA in each of his last four weekend starts (two losses, two no-decisions), going from 4.24 to 2.57 over the course of the last month and a half. 
  • Tyler Bowditch allowed just one hit over 3.0 innings of relief work, striking out four and allowing one run.
  • RJ Warnock tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up his first career win in just his third appearance of the season.
  • Mason's Tyler Zombro was charged with the loss as he gave up two runs on three hits over 2.0 innings of work.
  • Luke Willis and Mick Foley both had a pair of hits for the Patriots. Chris Cook was the only other George Mason player with a hit as he went 1-for-3 on the day.
  • Overall, Rhody outhit Mason 14-5, marking just the third time in the last 17 games that the Rams eclipse 10 hits. Entering the game, URI had recorded six or fewer hits in 10 of 13 Atlantic 10 contests.

What's Next
The Rams return to action on Tuesday afternoon when they travel to Bryant for a 3:30 p.m. rematch against the Bulldogs.