Rhode Island Lineup
White (CF), Heiss (SS), Coutts (LF), Vargas (1B), Cristino (DH), Cherry (3B), McManus (2B), Laske (C), Coley (RF), Brutti (P)
Thrasher (CF), Ardith (3B), Sullivan (1B), Bardwell (LF), Olson (SS), Kellogg (2B), Pagan (DH), Carmody (C), Cohoon (RF), Judenis (P)
How it Happened
Rhode Island (17-18) got on the board in the top of the first inning, when Austin White belted a leadoff home run for the first round-tripper of his career. White smacked the ball deep down left field line, where it hit off the top of the wall in fair territory before taking a high bounce into foul territory. The ball then ricocheted off a billboard, bounced back to the top of the outfield fence and rolled along the fence railing for roughly 20 feet while Hartford left fielder Ashton Bardzell was jumping up, trying to grab it. The bizarre play gave Rhody an early 1-0 lead.
Kevin Heiss then pushed it to 3-0 in the top of the second, driving in two runs on a bases-loaded single to left center.
The Hawks (12-20) made it 3-1 in the bottom of the third, but URI put four additional runs on the board in the top of the fifth, thanks to runs by White, Xavier Vargas, John Cristino and Justin Cherry.
Hartford scored a single run again, in the bottom of the sixth, but Rhody got it back in the top of the seventh when Brett McManus singled to drive in Cristino for the 8-2 advantage. The Hawks responded with a four spot in the home half of the inning to make it a two-run game (8-6).
Heiss and Vargas both drove in runs in the top of the eighth to give the Rams a four-run cushion at 10-6 but Hartford scored an unearned run in the bottom of the frame to trim URI's lead to three. That was as close as it would get however, as Jake Walker retired the side in order to close the door in the bottom of the ninth.
Inside the Box Score
- Freshman John Cristino went 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored.
- Sophomore Austin White recorded his first career home run as part of a 3-for-5 day at the plate. He also walked once and stole his 10th base of the season.
- Senior Kevin Heiss singled, doubled, walked, scored once and drove in three runs.
- Sophomore Xavier Vargas had a pair of hits, two RBI and one run scored.
- Redshirt freshman Justin Cherry walked, doubled, drove in a run and scored one of his own.
- Redshirt freshman Jordan Laske was walked twice, singled and scored a run.
- Senior Brett McManus had a base hit and one RBI.
- Freshman Mark Coley scored once for the Rams, despite an 0-for-4 day at the plate.
- Freshman Jon Morrison earned his first career win, allowing one on two hits over two innings of relief work.
- Freshman Bo Brutti made his first career start for Rhode Island. In four innings on the hill, he allowed just one run on three hits and one walk.
- Junior Jake Walker picked up the first save of his career, striking out two and fielding a grounder back to the mound as part of a 1-2-3 ninth.
Rhode Island will now travel to Sacred Heart for a Friday afternoon game against the Pioneers. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.