Rhody Drops Series Opener at La Salle, 7-5

Photo Credit: Bret Munson
Photo Credit: Bret Munson

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

La Salle Lineup
Sorrels (SS), Faso (RF), Levins (C), McGowan (2B), Guckin (1B), Cucinotta (3B), Tagoe (CF), O'Day (DH), DiVietro (LF), Scanlon (P)

How it Happened
Rhode Island jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning, thanks to a pair of home runs by Brett McManus and Xavier Vargas. McManus struck first, sending a leadoff shot out over the left field wall, and Vargas followed with a two-run homer that also scored Greg Cavaliere.

La Salle strung together five consecutive hits in the bottom of the inning however - three singles, then two doubles - to take a 4-3 lead.

The following inning, Cavaliere used a bases-loaded, fielder's choice ball to drive in Jackson Coutts and even the score at 4-4.

The Explorers pulled back ahead the bottom of the sixth, when Nick O'Day belted a two-out, two-run homer to reclaim the lead at 6-4. An RBI double by Kevin McGowan then made it 7-4 La Salle in the bottom of the seventh.

Back-to-back doubles by Sonny Ulliana and McManus got Rhody back within two in the top of the eighth, but the Rams went down in order in the ninth, as La Salle held on for the 7-5 win.

Inside the Box Score

  • Senior Brett McManus homered, doubled, drove in two runs and scored once.
  • Sophomore Xavier Vargas also drove in two runs on a pair of hits, including his fourth home run of the season.
  • Junior Sonny Ulliana had two hits - a single and a double - while scoring once and driving in one run.
  • Junior Greg Cavaliere went 1-for-3 with an RBI, a runs scored and three stolen bases.
  • Sophomore Jackson Coutts scored once for the Rams, despite an 0-for-3 day at the plate.
  • Senior Kevin Heiss reached twice, on a walk and a single.
  • Junior Nick Robinson recorded a career-high nine strikeouts, but was charged with the loss after allowing six runs on nine hits through six innings.

Up Next
Rhode Island and La Salle return to DeVincent Field for Game 2 of the series, Friday at 1 p.m.