OPENING NIGHT: Rhody Baseball's 2019 Season Begins Friday at Rice

Photo Credit: Jerome Hicks
Photo Credit: Jerome Hicks

Friday, Feb. 15 – 7:30 p.m. Eastern
Coverage: Live Stats | Video | Audio

Pitching Matchup
URI - LHP Tyler Wilson
RICE - RHP Matt Canterino

Saturday, Feb. 17 – 5:00 p.m. Eastern
Coverage: Live Stats | Video | Audio

Pitching Matchup
URI - RHP Vitaly Jangols
RICE - RHP Addison Moss

Sunday, Feb. 18 – 12:30 p.m. Eastern
Coverage: Live Stats | Video | Audio

Pitching Matchup
URI - RHP Nick Robinson
RICE - RHP Jackson Parthasarathy

Rams vs. Owls

  • The opening-weekend series between Rhode Island and Rice will be the first-ever games between the two clubs.

Scouting Rice

  • Rice was picked to finish fourth in the 2019 Conference USA Preseason Poll.
  • The Owls finished the 2018 season with an overall record of 26-31-2, including a 12-15-2 mark in conference play.
  • The 2018 season marked the first time in the last 24 years that Rice did not play in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Longtime Rice head coach and National College Baseball Hall of Famer Wayne Graham retired - at age 82 - following the conclusion of the 2018 season. In his 27 years at Rice, Graham built the program into a national power, leading the Owls to the 2003 national title as well as six trips College World Series and 10 Super Regional appearances.
  • The 2019 Owls are in their first year under new head coach Matt Bragga.
  • Rice returns 24 players from a year ago, including six position starters and 14 total pitchers.
  • As a team, the Owls hit .276 last season and turned in a team ERA of 4.48.
  • Rice's opening-night starter, Matt Canterino, was named C-USA's Preseason Pitcher of the Year. In 15 starts last season, he posted a 7-5 record to go with a 3.06 ERA and a .188 opposing average. He fanned a team-high 116 hitters while walking just 22 over 94.0 innings of work.
  • Addison Moss and Jackson Parthasarthy also are slated to start for Rice, on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Moss had the team's best ERA (2.43) a year ago, despite going 2-4 over 15 appearances (11 starts). Parthasarthy appeared in 20 games, and started three. He finished the year 3-5 with a 6.28 ERA and one save over 38.2 innings.
  • Offensively, the Owls lost three of their top four producers from last season, including would-be senior Ford Proctor, who was selected in the third round of the MLB Draft.
  • Third baseman Braden Comeaux is the top returning offensive player, having hit .319 with 36 RBI and 29 runs scored a year ago.

Rhode Island in 2019

  • Despite graduating weekend starters Matt Murphy and Taso Stathopoulos, as well as top relievers Nick Johnson and Tyler Barss, the Rams return a pitching staff that combined to make 30 of the team's 49 starts in 2018.
  • Most notable is the return of the program's most decorated pitcher, redshirt senior Tyler Wilson - a consensus All-American in 2016 - as well as 2017 Freshman All-American Vitaly Jangols. Wilson is Rhode Island's all-time strikeouts leader (279) and owns a 2.80 career ERA over 45 appearances (44 starts). Jangols enters his junior season with a 10-5 record, two saves and a 3.33 earned run average.
  • Sunday starter Nick Robinson was one of URI's top arms out of the bullpen last season, recording a 1.93 ERA over 14 relief appearances (18.2 IP). He has made just one other start in his collegiate career, opening a midweek staff day with 2.2 innings of work during his freshman campaign.
  • Offensively, Rhody returns four of its top five hitters from a year ago. Sophomore Jackson Coutts leads the way after hitting .315 as a freshman, en route to earning All-Atlantic 10 and All-New England accolades.
  • Sophomore Xavier Vargas and juniors Sonny Ulliana and Greg Cavaliere will also be looked on to lead the Rhody offense in 2019.
  • In addition to Wilson, the lone players remaining from Rhody's 2016 Atlantic 10 Championship team are seniors Dom Grillo, Laurence Hill, Kevin Heiss, Brett McManus, Sam Ilario and Mark Silvestri.

Rhode Warriors

  • Eighteen of Rhode Island first 19 games will be played on the road, including 13 in a row to open the season.
  • The Rams will travel approximately 15,000 miles before playing their first home game.
  • URI's home opener is set for Wednesday, March 20 when Sacred Heart visits Bill Beck Field for a midweek matchup.
  • Rhody will then hit the road for its Atlantic 10-opening series at George Washington.
  • The Rams will play 18 games outside of Rhode Island before hosting their first conference series (Fordham, March 29-31).

Rams vs. The Nation's Best

  • Rhode Island has become known for its challenging non-conference schedules, traveling early each year to take on some of the nation's best competition.
  • In 2018, the Rams opened the season with three games at #9 Texas A&M and later visited #1 Florida for three games as well as #28 Stetson for four games. Rhody nearly pulled off upsets against the Aggies and Gators, losing Game 2 to Texas A&M 4-3 and Game 3 to Florida 3-2. URI led both of those games heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, but lost in walk-off fashion.
  • 2017, URI traveled to NC State for a single game against the sixth-ranked Wolfpack. The Rams left Raleigh with a 5-2 victory.
  • In 2016, Rhody opened up with a series at #14 Florida State before traveling to Maryland for a three-game set against the Terrapins, who were coming off back-to-back NCAA Super Regional appearances.
  • In 2015, the Rams opened with a series at #2 Florida before traveling to #11 North Carolina, and taking Game 3 from the Tar Heels (6-3).
  • In 2013, Rhode Island was the only team in the country to open the season with eight consecutive road games against top-10 teams. URI played three at #9 Florida State, three at #8 Ole Miss and two at #5 Mississippi State.
  • In 2012, the Rams traveled to Tallahassee to take on the top-ranked Seminoles, marking the third year in a row that they faced the #1 team in the country (Florida-2011, Virginia-2010).
  • In 2011, Rhody traveled to Founders Park to play defending national champion South Carolina. The Gamecocks went on to win the national title that year as well.