Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Notebook: Defending conference champion Rhode Island splits weekend series

Courtesy of Rhode Island Baseball’s Facebook

The Rhode Island baseball team pulled out a 6-5 win on Sunday to split a four-game weekend series with Houston Baptist. The win follows two losses in a Saturday double-header and another win last Friday.

The Rams did most of their damage in the top of the sixth, scoring twice on wild pitches and adding a third run on a single by designated hitter Sonny Ulliana. The three-run outburst gave URI a lead it would not relinquish. Although the Huskies closed the gap to one run with a home run by designated hitter Carey Jones in the bottom of the ninth, Rams closer Tyler Barss induced two strikeouts and a groundout to end the game and earn his second save of the year.

Rams starting pitcher Jake Walker came out after just three innings and was replaced by senior Blaise Whitman, who pitched five innings of relief and gave up just one run to earn the win. Houston Baptist starter Addison Russ came out after two innings of work and was replaced by a series of relievers. Ivan Smith was tagged with the loss after giving up the go-ahead run in the sixth and exiting without retiring a single batter.

After getting pummeled 10-2 in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Rams hung tight in the second and took a 2-2 tie into the tenth inning before pitcher Cam LaFleur gave up an infield single to Huskies first baseman Jake Pulcheon that brought home the winning run. It was also the first earned run for either team in a sloppy defensive game that saw a total of six errors and two wild pitches.

Huskies left fielder Spencer Halloran had a fantastic Saturday, getting six hits on eight at-bats with two runs and five RBIs, including a double, a triple and a stolen base. He also scored the winning run of the second game.

On Friday, Rhode Island squeaked out a 5-4 victory over the Huskies. First baseman Brett McManus powered the Rams offense with two RBIs and a run, including the game-winning RBI in the top of the ninth. Pitcher Vitaly Jangols earned the win, despite giving up the game-tying run in the bottom of the eighth, and Barss shut down the Huskies in the ninth to preserve the win.

Rhode Island emerged from the series 3-4 on the year as it attempts to defend last year’s Atlantic 10 title. Along with VCU and Saint Louis, the Rams are considered among the strongest teams in the conference.

Following the four-game series, URI is off until Friday, Mar. 3, when it will meet North Carolina State. Houston Baptist is also off until Friday and will face LIU Brooklyn.

Saint Louis wins two of three in tournament

James Morisano’s grand slam in the fifth inning powered Saint Louis to a 7-3 win over Creighton on Sunday to win its final game in the Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament. The Billikens rebounded from its first loss of the season on Friday with two consecutive wins to finish the tournament on a high note and preserve their spot atop the A-10.

SLU starter Devin Mahoney gave up three runs over six innings and was credited with the win. Reliever Sean Frontzak earned the save for a sterling game in relief, not allowing a single runner to reach base over the final three innings.

Center fielder Aaron Case and first baseman Nick Reeser each hit RBI singles in a six-run fifth inning for Saint Louis, which to that point had trailed by three. Those hits were followed by Morisano’s two-out blast to give Saint Louis the lead. Billikens shortstop Alex King added a solo home run in the sixth to pad the lead.

The Blue Jays collected only seven hits on the day, but four of those hits were doubles, and designated hitter Landuyt Riley added a solo home run. It was not enough to overcome Saint Louis, however, which to this point has scored at least five runs in six of its seven games.

In Saturday’s 5-3 victory over Santa Clara, the Broncos walked home two runs and Billikens second baseman Cole Dubet added a two-run double in the top of the eighth. Santa Clara brought home two runs in the bottom of the ninth on a two-out double by first baseman Jake Brodt, but it proved too little too late. Saint Louis starting pitcher Miller Hogan was credited with the win for six clean innings of work.

Hogan’s quality start followed a poor performance from Saint Louis pitcher Jackson Wark against Michigan on Friday in a 6-1 loss. Wark was tagged with all six runs and the loss, putting in three innings of work and surrendering five earned runs on three hits and five walks.

At 6-1 on the year, Saint Louis leads the A-10 by a game over Davidson (5-2). The Billikens face Oklahoma State Wednesday.

Thomas Haines can be reached at [email protected].

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    Baseball is CoolMar 25, 2017 at 12:47 am

    Great article!