URI Wins Wild One, Takes A-10 Series from Fordham

Photo Credit: Bret Munson
Photo Credit: Bret Munson

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

Fordham Lineup
Guercio (RF), MacKenzie (SS), Melendez (P/DH), Labella (1B), Bardwell (C), Tarabek (3B), Vazquez (2B), Baker (LF), Goodrich (CF)

How it Happened
Xavier Vargas blasted his first home run of the season in the bottom of the first inning, sending a two-out, two run shot over the right-center wall to give the Rams an early advantage. Rhody added another run the following inning when Josh Brodeur scored on a sacrifice fly by Greg Cavaliere.

Fordham (16-12, 3-3 A-10) made it a 3-1 game in the top of the fifth - on an RBI single by Alvin Melendez - and evened the game at 3-3 in the sixth, after a pair of runs by Justin Bardwell and C.J. Vazquez.

Rhode Island (10-13, 4-2 A-10) pulled back ahead in the home half of the sixth as Sonny Ulliana drew a one-out walk, advanced to third on a Brodeur double, and scored on a single by Laurence Hill. Fordham tied it up once again in the top of the seventh however, knotting the score at 4-4 when Jake MacKenzie scored from third on a failed pickoff attempt on Melendez at first.

Rhody put three more runs on the board in the bottom of the eighth to move back ahead 7-4. After a Brodeur single, and back-to-back walks to Hill and John Cristino, Cavaliere was hit by a pitch to make the score 5-4. Kevin Heiss then delivered a two-out, two-run single to drive in Cristino and Hill for the 7-4 Rhody advantage.

As was the case all game though, no lead was safe. Fordham used a two-run single from Nick Labella and a two-run homer from Justin Bardwell to reclaim the lead at 8-7 in the top of the ninth. And as expected, URI came back and tied the game at 8-8 in the bottom of the frame. There, Brodeur sent a one-out single up the middle, stole second, advanced to third on a two-out error by Vazquez, and scored on a bloop double by Cavaliere.

Rhody stranded runners in scoring position in the ninth and tenth, but was unable to push across a game-winner. After 11 complete innings, at 6:55 p.m., the game was suspended due to darkness.

When play resumed at on Sunday morning, URI needed just one inning to put the game away. Tyler Brosius tossed a scoreless top of the 12th before a two-out rally sealed the win. After Fordham's Anthony Zimmerman struck out the first two Rhody hitters of the inning, he issued back-to-back walks to Max Mircovich and Vargas. Ulliana was then drilled with a pitch to load the bases for Brodeur, who drove a 1-1 offering out to the warning track to secure the series victory for Rhode Island.

Inside the Box Score

  • In addition to driving in the game-winning run, redshirt sophomore Josh Brodeur led all players with five hits on the day - matching URI's single game record. He is the first player to record five hits in a game since Jordan Powell ('18) and Martin Figueroa ('17) did so during the 2016 season.
  • Brodeur also scored a game-high three runs.
  • Sophomore Xavier Vargas and senior Kevin Heiss also had multi-hit games for the Rams. Vargas was 2-for-5 with a two-run homer while Heiss singled, doubled, walked twice, stole a base and drove in two runs.
  • Junior Greg Cavaliere doubled, stole a base and drove in three runs.
  • Redshirt senior Laurence Hill and freshman John Cristino each went 1-for-4 with two walks and a run scored. Hill also recorded his 10th RBI of the season.
  • Redshirt junior Tyler Brosius earned the win, striking out two in a scoreless 12th inning Sunday morning.
  • Junior Jake Walker hurled 2.2 strong innings of shutout relief, late in the game on Saturday. He fanned three and allowed no hits.
  • Junior starter Nick Robinson cruised through four innings before allowing one run in the fifth and two more in the sixth. Overall, he allowed seven hits, recorded three strikeouts and issued two walks.

Up Next
Rhode Island is back in action Tuesday afternoon at UMass Lowell.