Rams Knocked Out of A-10 Tournament with 4-2 Loss to Saint Louis

Photo Credit: Bill Barrett/Atlantic 10 Conference
Photo Credit: Bill Barrett/Atlantic 10 Conference

Rhode Island Lineup
Powell (CF), Figueroa (C), Hess (2B), O'Neil (3B), Corin (1B), Ulliana (DH), Lee (LF), Foley (RF), Heiss (SS), Johnson (P)

Saint Louis Lineup
Case (CF), Reeser (1B), Sniatynski (LF), Morisano (C), Leimkuehler (RF), King (SS), Hanford (3B), Mahoney (DH), Dubet (2B), Patton (P)

How it Happened
Trailing 2-0 after a two-run, first-inning homer by James Morisano, Rhode Island (31-22) halved the Billikens lead in the top of the third when Jordan Powell singled through the left side to drive in Mike Foley

Saint Louis (35-21) threatened again in the bottom of the fifth, stringing together back-to-back one-out singles, but Rhody turned a 4-6-3 double play to escape the jam. The Rams carried the momentum into the top of the sixth, where Chris Hess sent his third home run of the tournament out over the left field wall to tie the game at 2-2.

SLU reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the seventh on another two-run homer - this time a Devin Mahoney shot to right field.

Mike Foley led off the top of the eighth with a walk, and Kevin Heiss followed with a single up the middle to put two runners on with no outs. However, Jordan Powell flied out to shallow centerfield for the first out of the inning, before Foley was thrown out at third on a double-steal attempt. Martin Figueroa then fouled out to first base to end the frame. 

Tyler Barss recorded a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth to get the Rams back in the dugout quickly, but Hess, Matt O'Neil and Mike Corin went down in order in the top of the ninth to end Rhode Island's hopes at defending its 2016 Atlantic 10 title.

Inside the Box Score

  • Junior Jordan Powell went 2-for-4 and drove in a run. He hit safely in all three tournament games to extend his reached-base streak to 37 consecutive games. 
  • Redshirt junior Chris Hess hit his third home run of the tournament in the top of the sixth - an absolute blast to left field that cleared the trees beyond the left field wall and nearly landed in the SLU softball field. 
  • Hess landed a spot on the 12-player All-Championship team after hitting .385 (5-13) at the tournament. All five of his hits were for extra bases as he homered three times and doubled twice for a 1.231 slugging percentage. He also scored five times and drove in five runs over the course of Rhody's three games.
  • Sophomore Kevin Heiss was 2-for-3 on the day. He finished the tournament hitting .500 (5-10) with a run scored and two stolen bases.
  • Junior Mike Foley reached base twice on a pair of walks. He also scored Rhody's first run of the game.
  • Junior Nick Johnson gave up two runs on five hits with three strikeouts over a 5.0-inning, no-decision start.
  • Redshirt sophomore Cam LaFleur was charged with the loss, allowing a two-run homer - which proved to be the difference - in the bottom of the seventh inning.
  • Redshirt junior Tyler Barss recorded the final five outs of the game for the Rams, striking out two and allowing zero hits.