Rams Come Up Short Against UConn, 5-4

Photo Credit: Bret Munson
Photo Credit: Bret Munson

Rhode Island Lineup
White (CF), Brodeur (2B), Cristino (C), Vargas (1B), Mircovich (LF), Laske (DH), Hill (SS), Ilario (RF), Coley (3B), Morrison (P)

Connecticut Lineup
Toppa (LF), Prato (SS), Woodworth (2B), P. Winkel (C), C. Fedko (DH), Nucerino (CF), K. Fedko (RF), C. Winkel (1B), Moriarty (3B), Wang (P)

How it Happened
Rhode Island (21-26) was unable to overcome an early deficit as it fell, 5-4, to Connecticut in its final non-conference game of the regular season Tuesday afternoon.

UConn (31-21) jumped all over Rhody starter Jon Morrison early, scoring three runs on four hits in the top of the first inning. The Huskies added to their lead in the fourth, pushing it to 4-0.

An opportunistic Rhody rally cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the fifth. Austin White worked a one-out walk and advanced when Josh Brodeur laid down a sacrifice bunt. Brodeur was safe on the play, thanks to a fielding error. John Cristino then doubled to center, bringing both runners around to score.

UConn responded with a run in the top of the sixth but Rhody came right back with a manufactured run in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Mark Coley walked and stole second. White then chopped a ball down the third base line, allowing Coley to score from second on Connor Moriarty's bad throw over to first. White wound up on second base on the play, and later moved to third on a wild pitch, but was stranded there.

Rhode Island got the tying and go-ahead runs on base in the bottom of the eighth as White first reached on a two-out walk and stole second before scoring on an RBI single by Brodeur. Cristino followed with a single to center, his third hit of the game. However, Xavier Vargas struck out to end the threat.

Laurence Hill drew a two-out walk in the bottom of the ninth, but a Sam Ilario groundout ended the game on a close play at first.

Inside the Box Score

  • Freshman John Cristino had a strong day at the plate, reaching in each of his five plate appearances. He doubled twice, singled, walked twice and drove in two runs.
  • Sophomore Austin White singled, walked twice and scored two times.
  • Freshman Mark Coley walked and scored once.
  • Redshirt sophomore Josh Brodeur singled, drove in one run and scored once.
  • Sophomore Xavier Vargas singled and walked.
  • Redshirt freshman Joe Fortin appeared as a pinch hitter and drew a walk. 
  • Freshman Bo Brutti struck out five of the 12 hitters he faves through three innings of relief.
  • Junior Jake Walker pitched a scoreless inning, getting one strikeout and retiring all three batters he faced on just 11 total pitches.
  • Redshirt senior Cam LaFleur and redshirt junior Tyler Brosius each also provided a scoreless frame for the Rams.
  • Rhode Island had four stolen bases on the day, as redshirt senior Laurence Hill, redshirt sophomore Max Mircovich, Coley and White each swiped a bag.
  • The Rams struck out 14 times while drawing eight walks.
  • Rhode Island left 13 runners on base. UConn stranded seven.

Up Next
Rhody will now travel to La Salle to close out the regular season with a three-game series against the Explorers. The first game is set for Thursday, May 16 at 3 p.m.