UMass Walks Off on Rhody, 4-3, in Series Opener

Photo Credit: Bill Barrett
Photo Credit: Bill Barrett

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

Massachusetts Lineup
Lever (SS), Kessinger (SS), Hard (2B), Smith (DH), Norton (3B), Mrowka (1B), Greene (RF), Voghel (LF), Linnane (C), Lasko (P)

How it Happened

Rhode Island (8-25, 1-9 A-10) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning - when a Sonny Ulliana sacrifice fly drove in Kevin Heiss - but UMass plated two runs in the bottom of the frame to take a 2-1 lead.

Heiss scored again in the top of the sixth, on a Brett McManus single that made it a 2-2 game. McManus went on to steal second before scoring on a Xavier Vargas double that gave Rhody a 3-2 edge.

Massachusetts (10-14, 3-7 A-10) once again erased the Rams' advantage in the bottom of the inning, this time evening the score at three apiece.

URI was retired in order in its next three trips to the plate, before the Minutemen used a two-out RBI single to win it in the bottom of the ninth.

Inside the Box Score

  • Junior Brett McManus went 3-for-4 with a stolen base, an RBI and a run scored.
  • Freshman Xavier Vargas doubled twice for the Rams, driving in one run on the afternoon.
  • Junior Kevin Heiss singled, walked and scored a run.
  • Freshman Jackson Coutts drew a fourth-inning walk to extend his reached-base streak to 18 consecutive games.
  • Redshirt senior starter Matt Murphy allowed three runs over 6.2 innings of work. He struck out five and walked none.
  • Redshirt senior Tyler Barss was charged with the loss. He struck out four, but gave up one run on three hits and a walk over 2.0 innings of relief.
  • The one-run loss was Rhody's eighth of the season.

Up Next
The Rams and Minutemen return to Earl Lorden Field to close out the series with a Saturday doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m.