LaFleur Fans Eight As Rams Defeat Sacred Heart 5-3

Photo Credit: Bill Barrett
Photo Credit: Bill Barrett

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

Sacred Heart Lineup
Thibault (SS), Capozziello (CF), Schock (RF), Markmann (2B), Garbuio (DH), DeFilippo (3B), Sorrento (1B), Doyle (C), Pedrouzo (LF), Greco (P)

How it Happened
Rhode Island (5-14) took advantage of a strong start by redshirt junior Cam LaFleur, scoring runs early and never relinquishing the lead. A pair of RBI singles by Laurence Hill and Brett McManus scored Jackson Coutts and Sonny Ulliana in the second for the 2-0 advantage. Greg Cavaliere crossed the plate on a third-inning error and Coutts scored on a Kevin Heiss single to push it to 4-0. By then, LaFleur had worked three scoreless frames, recording eight consecutive outs by way of strikeout. In his 3.0-inning start, only one of his nine outs was not a strikeout, as the first out of the game came on a 2-4 caught stealing play.

Sacred Heart (4-11) broke through for its first hit of the game in the top of the fourth and loaded the bases in the fifth before an inning-ending double play ended the threat.

The Rams extended their lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the sixth when Austin White singled through the right side to score Hill, who had drawn a leadoff walk earlier in the inning.

The Pioneers finally got on the board in the top of the seventh, thanks to a three-run homer by Stephen Thibault. That was as close as they would get however, as Nick Robinson (0.2 IP), Nick Johnson (1.0 IP) and Tyler Barss (1.0 IP) combined to allow just one base runner over the final 2.1 innings.

Inside the Box Score

  • Redshirt junior Cam LaFleur earned the win, recording a career-high eight strikeouts with just one hit allowed over three innings of work.
  • Redshirt freshman Anthony DeSouza and junior Mark Silvestri each pitched an inning of scoreless relief for the Rams. For DeSouza, it was his first career appearance.
  • Freshman Brendan Mignone also made his collegiate debut in the win. He pitched an inning and a third and was responsible for all three Sacred Heart runs.
  • Senior Nick Robinson struck out two in a scoreless eighth to set up classmate Tyler Barss' 28th career save.
  • Offensively, Rhody combined for 10 hits while limiting Sacred Heart to just six.
  • Freshman Jackson Coutts went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored.
  • Juniors Kevin Heiss, Brett McManus and Laurence Hill all finished the day 2-for-3 with one RBI each.
  • Hill also reached once via walk. He and Heiss both stole a base, their fourth and first of the season, respectively.
  • Sophomore Greg Cavaliere singled, walked, scored a run and swiped his team-leading eighth bag of the season.
  • Sophomore Sonny Ulliana walked and scored a run. He also threw out both Sacred Heart runners that attempted to steal.

Up Next
Rhody is back on the road this weekend, traveling to VCU to open Atlantic 10 play with a three-game set against the Rams.