Rams Rally Late But Are Unable to Hold On, Fall To UTRGV 7-6

Photo Credit: Bret Munson
Photo Credit: Bret Munson

Rhode Island Lineup
White (CF), Coutts (RF), Cristino (C), Vargas (1B), Ulliana (DH), Heiss (SS), Hill (3B), Cavaliere (LF), Brodeur (2B), Cherry (P)

UTRGV Lineup
Atwood (SS), Gomez (2B), Galvan (RF), Grubbs (CF), Diaz (DH), Sepulveda (3B), Flores (1B), Closner (C), Alexander (LF), Hollas (P)

How it Happened
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley completed the series sweep over Rhode Island Sunday afternoon. Rhode Island had taken its first lead of the game in the top of the ninth but the Vaqueros used a three-run ninth inning to walk off with the 7-6 victory.

The Rams (2-8) struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when Kevin Heiss scored on an RBI single by Austin White.

UTRGV (9-3) responded with single runs in the third and fourth, before scoring twice in the fifth for the 4-1 advantage.

Rhody later tied the score in the top of the seventh. Jackson Coutts and John Cristino drew back-to-back, bases-loaded walks to make it 4-3. White then scored the tying run on an RBI groundout by Xavier Vargas.

The Rams loaded the bases with one away in the eighth, but were unable to put any additional runs on the board. The top of the ninth was a different story however. Cristino led off this inning and was hit by a pitch. Vargas then singled and Sonny Ulliana was walked to load the bases. A sac-fly by Heiss then plated pinch runner Max Mircovich before Laurence Hill delivered and RBI single through the left side that put URI on top 6-4.

The Vaqueros spoiled the comeback however. A two-run triple by Anthony Gomez tied the score and Jacob Hirsh singled to left center to drive in Gomez and give UTRGV the walk-off victory.

Inside the Box Score

  • Sophomore Austin White went 2-for-5 with a walk, a run scored and an RBI.
  • Senior Kevin Heiss also had a pair of hits, one run scored and one RBI.
  • Each of Rhody's six runs were scored by a different player as White, Heiss, redshirt sophomore Max Mircovich, sophomore Xavier Vargas, junior Greg Cavaliere and redshirt sophomore Josh Brodeur each crossed the plate once.
  • Vargas also drove in a run, as did sophomore Jackson Coutts and redshirt senior Laurence Hill.
  • Cavaliere and Brodeur each stole a base for the Rams.
  • Redshirt freshman Justin Cherry made his first career start, allowing two runs on two hits in a no-decision start.
  • Redshirt senior Cam LaFleur took the loss for the Rams. He threw a scoreless seventh and eighth, but gave up three runs in the bottom of the ninth.

Up Next
The Rams are back in action at Wichita State, March 15-17.