Rams Drop 13-Inning Marathon at Rice

Photo Credit: Jerome Hicks
Photo Credit: Jerome Hicks

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

Rice Lineup
Comeaux (3B), Cox (CF), T. Cruz (SS), DiCaprio (1B), Collins (C), Gneiting (RF), Edwards (2B), Frazier (DH), A. Cruz (LF), Kravetz (P)

How it Happened
For the second night in a row, Rhode Island rallied late and took Rice to extra innings, however the Rams were unable to pull off their second-straight comeback win. Rhody took a 6-5 lead in the top of the 13th, but the Owls plated two runs in the bottom of the frame to even the series with a 7-6 victory.

Rice (1-1) had jumped out to a 4-0 lead, scoring once in the third, twice in the fourth and once in the fifth. Rhode Island used a three-run sixth to get back in it, cutting the lead in half on a two-run single by Laurence Hill and then making it a one-run game when Xavier Vargas scored on an error by Rice's third baseman.

The Owls got a run back in the bottom of the eighth, but URI evened things up at 5-5 in the top of the ninth. There, Mark Coley led things off with a single and Kevin Heiss was walked to put two runners on. A wild pitch allowed both runners to advance a base before a sacrifice fly by Sonny Ulliana pushed across Coley and made it a 5-4 game. Vargas then singled through the right side to plate Heiss, leveling the score at five apiece.

Rice advanced runners to second and third with no outs in the ninth, but Mark Silvestri replaced Justin Cherry and escaped the inning unscathed.

Rhode Island (1-1) then stranded two runners in the top of the 10th inning, but worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the home half of the frame. The Rams also left two runners on in the 12th, before finally pulling ahead in the 13th.

Pinch-running for Jackson Coutts, sophomore Austin White crossed the plate on a one-out single by Vargas to give URI its first lead of the game at 6-5. The Rams were unable to hold on however as Rice scored a pair of unearned runs - one on an error and another on a passed ball - to walk off with the 7-6 win.

Inside the Box Score

  • Each of Rhode Island's starters recorded at least one hit as the Rams combined for 13 as a team.
  • Sophomore Xavier Vargas and redshirt senior Laurence Hill both went 2-for-7 with two RBI. Vargas also scored a run for the Rams.
  • Freshman Mark Coley doubled, singled and scored a run.
  • Senior Brett McManus also doubled, in addition to drawing a pair of walks.
  • Freshman John Cristino made his collegiate debut, going 2-for-5 with a walk as Rhody's starting catcher.
  • Sophomore Jackson Coutts singled and walked twice, extending his reached-base streak to 38 consecutive games dating back to last season.
  • Senior Kevin Heiss reached twice - on a base hit and a walk - and scored once.
  • Sophomore Sonny Ulliana singled, scored once and drove in a run.
  • Redshirt senior Sam Ilario singled, stole a base and drove in a run. He also made a diving catch in the left-center gap to end the bottom of the 12th inning.
  • Sophomore Austin White entered the game as a pinch runner in the top of the 13th and went on to score a go-ahead run for the Rams.
  • Rhode Island (7) and Rice (6) combined to use 13 different pitchers throughout the course of the game.
  • Junior Vitaly Jangols allowed four runs on six hits over a 4.2-inning start. He also recorded three strikeouts.
  • Redshirt freshman Justin Cherry made his collegiate debut for the Rams, tossing two innings of relief. He struck out three while allowing one run on four hits.
  • Redshirt senior Dom Grillo (1.1), senior Mark Silvestri (1.0), redshirt junior Tyler Brosius (1.0) and sophomore Ryan Twitchell (2.0) combined for 5.1 innings of scoreless relief. Twitchell and Grillo both fanned three batters.
  • Redshirt senior Cam LaFleur was charged with the loss, giving up two runs (both unearned) in the bottom of the 13th.
  • Zach Esquivel picked up the win for Rice.

Up Next
The Rams return to Reckling Park to close out the series on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is slated for 12:30 p.m. (Eastern).