Rams Lock Up #1 Seed, First-Round Bye at A-10 Tourney with 7-1 Win at La Salle

Rams Lock Up #1 Seed, First-Round Bye at A-10 Tourney with 7-1 Win at La Salle

Rhode Island Lineup
Hess (2B), Figueroa (3B), Powell (CF), Olmo (RF), McManus (1B), Moyers (DH), Livington (C), Corin (LF), Hill (SS), Wessel (P)

La Salle Lineup
C. McGowan (SS), Prucnal (RF), K. McGowan (2B), Ravert (DH), Arnold (1B), Monzo (LF), George (CF), Simon (C), Rivera (3B), Paprocki (P)

How it Happened
Rhode Island (27-25, 18-6) wasted no time getting on the board as Chris Hess belted a leadoff triple in the top of the first and put Rhody up 1-0 on an RBI single by Martin Figueroa. The Rams then pushed it to 3-0 in the top of the fifth on runs by Hess and Jordan Powell, who then doubled in the seventh to drive in Figueroa and give Rhody a 4-0 advantage.

La Salle (15-39, 6-18) scored its lone run of the game in the bottom half of the inning, before Rhody responded with a three-run eighth. Pinch runner Jesse Lee scored first - on a fielder's choice play - before Figueroa drove a ball up the middle to plate both Hess and Laurence Hill for the eventual 7-1 win.

What it Means

  • With the three-game sweep of La Salle, Rhode Island has locked up the #1 seed at next week's Atlantic 10 Championship, as well as the all-important first-round bye.
  • The Rams are also guaranteed at least a share of the A-10 regular season title. With the VCU/Davidson series yet to begin, the Rams could wind up sharing the regular season title with VCU, should VCU take all three from the Wildcats.
  • Regardless of whether or not that happens, Rhode Island will be the #1 seed at the A-10 tournament as the Rams took two of three from VCU earlier this season and therefore own the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Inside the Box Score

  • Redshirt junior Ben Wessel turned in arguably the best outing of his Rhode Island career, registering a career-high 10 strikeouts with zero walks and just four hits over 7.1 innings. He retired 15 of the first 16 hitters he faced, including 13 in a row from the first through the fifth inning.
  • Sophomore Nick Johnson tossed a hitless inning of relief before handing the ball to redshirt sophomore Andrew Veiga for the final two outs of the game.
  • Offensively, senior Ryan Olmo reached base in all five plate appearances, drawing a walk in the first before singling to third three times and beating out a bunt single.
  • Redshirt sophomore Chris Hess led off the game with his third triple of the day and 10th of the season. The 10 triples - which currently lead the nation - set a new single-season record at URI. Hess also has tied Rhody's all-time triple record with 16 for his career.
  • Junior Martin Figueroa went 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored .
  • Sophomore Jordan Powell and redshirt senior Derek Gardella both doubled and drove in a run. Powell also scored once, as did Jesse Lee and Laurence Hill.
  • For the series, five different Rhody relievers - Johnson, Veiga, redshirt sophomore Tyler Barss, sophomore Dom Grillo and redshirt junior Matt Ferraiolo - combined to allow just two hits over five scoreless innings.

Up Next
The Rams will be back in action next week at the Atlantic 10 Championship, hosted by Fordham at Houlihan Park, in Bronx, N.Y. Rhody will open play at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, versus the winner of the #4/#5 game. Complete seedings and pairings will be announced on Saturday, following the conclusion of the Atlantic 10's regular-season slate.