Balanced Attack Leads Rams to Ninth Straight Victory

Photo Credit: Michael Scott
Photo Credit: Michael Scott

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

La Salle Lineup
Constantini (SS), Sorrels (2B), Faso (LF), McGowan (DH), Dudeck (CF), Guckin (C), Arnold (1B), Evans (RF), Toal (3B), Ray (P)

How it Happened
After a nine-day layoff, Rhode Island (17-25, 7-9 Atlantic 10) picked up right where it left off, winning its ninth straight game by beating La Salle 10-5 Friday afternoon.

La Salle (14-32, 4-12 A-10) scored twice in the top of the first inning but Rhode Island used a balanced offensive attack to pull ahead in the second and steadily build its lead. Every starter contributed at least one hit, and eight of the nine hitters drove in at least one run. The only player without an RBI was Jordan Powell, who scored three runs and led off the inning in four of his five at-bats.

The Rams scored six unanswered runs, getting one in the first, two each in the second and third innings and one more in the fifth to build a 6-2 lead. La Salle trimmed it to 6-4 in the sixth inning, but a four-run rally in the bottom of the seventh broke the game open for Rhode Island.

La Salle managed one unearned run in the top of the ninth, but it was not enough to threaten the lead.

Inside the Box Score

  • Rhode Island was a perfect 8-for-8 in stolen base attempts, setting a new season high for steals as five different players got in on the action. Senior Jordan Powell had three, junior Kevin Heiss had two, junior Brett McManus, sophomore Greg Cavaliere and freshman Xavier Vargas each had one.
  • Rhode Island had a season-high 16 hits on the day, as every starter had at least one. It was the second time in four games Rhody received at least one hit from every starter in the lineup as the Rams also did so in Game 2 of their last weekend series against Saint Joseph's.
  • Senior Jordan Powell had three hits on the day, giving him 245 for his career and tying him with Oliver Palmer (2007-10) for fourth all-time at Rhode Island. Next on the list is Mike LaBarbera (259 from 1998-2001).
  • Powell also scored three runs in the win, including the 100th of his career.
  • Freshman Jackson Coutts went 3-for-4 on the afternoon, raising his batting average from .308 to .322 along the way. He also scored once and had one RBI.
  • Juniors Kevin Heiss and Brett McManus each had two hits, two runs and an RBI for the Rams.
  • Sophomore Sonny Ulliana drove in a pair of runs, going 2-for-2 with a walk and a sacrifice fly.
  • Freshman Xavier Vargas singled, drove in one run and scored twice.
  • Starter Matt Murphy (4-3) overcame a tough first inning to earn the victory. Murphy allowed two runs on three hits in the first inning, then gave up a one-out double in the second. He did not allow a hit over the next 3.2 innings until getting nicked for two runs in the sixth.
  • Both Murphy and redshirt senior Tyler Barss picked a runner off of second base. Murphy did it in the second inning, while while Barrs did so in the seventh.
  • Junior Mark Silvestri pitched the final two innings for the Rams, allowing just one (unearned) run on one hit. He also recorded an out at second, catching Dillon Malandro stealing in the top of the eighth.

Up Next
Rhode Island and La Salle play the middle game of the three-game series Saturday afternoon at Bill Beck Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.