Rams Drop Hope Opener to Sacred Heart, 6-5

Photo Credit: Bret Munson
Photo Credit: Bret Munson

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

Sacred Heart Lineup
Thibault (2B), Jordan (CF), Frasca (3B), Markmann (DH), Dauben (LF), Garbuio (LF), Sorrento (1B), Brown (RF), Levito (SS), O'Brien (P)

How it Happened
Rhode Island (4-11) took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third as Mark Coley scored on a groundout by Jackson Coutts and Austin White crossed the plate on a sac-fly by Xavier Vargas.

Sacred Heart (6-12) quickly evened the score however, scoring two runs of their own in the top of the fourth before pulling ahead 4-2 in the top of the fifth. There, the Pioneers took advantage of five walks to take a two-run lead without ever putting a ball in play.

The Rams tied it back up in the bottom of the sixth when Justin Cherry sent a two-run homer - the first hit of his career - way over the right field wall to make it a 4-4 game. Sacred Heart pulled back ahead in the top of the seventh though, scoring two more runs to reclaim the lead at 6-4.

White led off the home half of the seventh with a stand-up triple and came around to score when Kevin Heiss doubled off the right field wall. Heiss was stranded at second as the tying run however, as the Pioneers went to the bullpen and Jackson Aldam got back-to-back strikeouts before an inning-ending fly-out.

Rhode Island also left the tying run on second in the eighth and ninth innings as the Pioneers held on for the 6-5 win. Five of the Rams' 11 losses this season have now been by a single run.

Inside the Box Score

  • Senior Kevin Heiss and sophomore Jackson Coutts both went 2-for-5 with an RBI.
  • Heiss recorded his second double of the season after having combined for just two doubles in his previous three seasons with the Rams.
  • Redshirt freshman Justin Cherry recorded the first hit of his career - a monster two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning.
  • Sophomore Austin White singled, walked and scored a pair of runs.
  • Junior Sonny Ulliana was walked three times and scored once.
  • Redshirt senior Sam Ilario, junior Greg Cavaliere and freshman Mark Coley each stole a base for the Rams. Rhody is now 21-for-23 in stolen base attempts this season.
  • Junior Jake Walker started the game on the hill for the Rams and tossed two no-hit innings while recording a pair of strike outs.
  • Redshirt senior Cam LaFleur got a trio of strikeouts in the top of the fifth, but also issued a pair of bases-loaded walks.
  • Freshman Bo Brutti struck out the side in a scoreless seventh while senior Mark Silvestri fanned a pair in the top of the eighth.
  • Freshman Jon Morrison allowed just one hit over the final two innings while striking out four.
  • Despite combining for 14 strikeouts, the Rams' pitching staff also issued nine walks and hit one batter.
  • Redshirt freshman Nate Seprosky was charged with the loss, allowing two runs on two hits and two walks in the top of the seventh.
  • Reliever Thomas Pinto picked up the win for Sacred Heart while Baylor Sundahl earned the save.

Up Next
Rhode Island heads back on the road to open Atlantic 10 play with a three-game series at George Washington (March 22-24).