Eleven-Run Ninth Inning Leads Rhody Past Dayton 13-3

Photo Credit: Mike Scott
Photo Credit: Mike Scott

Rhode Island Lineup
Powell (CF), Heiss (SS), Coutts (DH), Vargas (1B), Ulliana (C), Foley (LF), McManus (2B), Ilario (RF), Hill (3B), Wilson (P)

Dayton
Garrett (CF), Echols (LF), Meehan (SS), Smith (1B), Tirotta (2B), Cleary (RF), Wilson (DH), Montoya (C), Yamada (3B), Jones (P)

How it Happened
Rhode Island (20-26, 10-10 A-10) struck first, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. Jackson Coutts got things started with a leadoff home run, the first of his career. Xavier Vargas and Sonny Ulliana followed with back-to-back singles before advancing on a groundout by Mike Foley. A fielder's choice ball by Sam Ilario later allowed Vargas to cross the plate and put the Rams up 2-0.

Dayton (17-30, 7-13) got a run back in the bottom of the sixth, before taking a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the seventh.

Rhode Island stormed back with an 11-run ninth inning however. Brett McManus, Sam Ilario and Jordan Powell used a trio of free passes to load the bases for pinch hitter Greg Cavaliere, who collected the fourth walk of the inning - one that would push across McManus and even the score at 3-3. Coutts followed with a two-run double that gave URI a 5-3 edge.

Then, with one away and runners on second and third, Josh Brodeur was intentionally walked as the Flyers looked to get a double-play ball to end the Rams' rally. The plan backfired though. Sonny Ulliana stepped into the box and sent a grand slam over the right field wall to up Rhody's lead to 9-3.

Foley and McManus were then issued back-to-back walks before each advanced a base on a wild pitch. Ilario went on to beat out an infield single, scoring Foley and making it a 10-3 game. Powell capped the late push with his first hit of the game - a three-run shot to centerfield that increased URI's lead to 13-3.

In total, the Rams had four hits and drew seven walks in the top of the ninth. Dayton, meanwhile, needed five pitchers to get through the frame.

Nick Johnson - who had relieved starter Tyler Wilson in the top of the seventh - finished things off to pick up his first win of the season.

Inside the Box Score

  • Freshman Jackson Coutts extended his team-leading reached-base streak to 31 consecutive games in the top of the fourth when he belted his first career home run. He also hit a two-run double in the ninth to finish the day with three RBI and two runs scored.
  • Sophomore Sonny Ulliana went 3-for-5 with four RBI and one run scored - all of which came on his ninth-inning grand slam.
  • Senior Jordan Powell also homered for the Rams, sending a three-run shot over the centerfield wall in the top of the ninth. He also scored twice, was hit by a pitch and intentionally walked.
  • Senior Brett McManus had a base hit, was walked twice and scored a pair of runs.
  • Redshirt junior Sam Ilario went 1-for-3 with two walks, two RBI and two runs scored.
  • Freshman Xavier Vargas singled, walked and scored once.
  • Senior Nick Johnson relieved Wilson in the seventh and finished the game with 2.2 shutout innings. He has now pitched 19.0 consecutive scoreless innings, tying him with Jim Norcott (2005) for the seventh-longest such streak in program history.
  • Redshirt junior Tyler Wilson recorded six strikeouts over six and a third innings in the no-decision start.

Up Next
The Rams and Flyers return to Woener Field to close out the series at Noon on Sunday.