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Baseball team takes two of three from Xavier

By Mike Abelson
On April 24, 2012

 

Three games in 27 hours, being outscored 34-22 and a doubleheader on Saturday were among the many obstacles thrown in front of the University of Rhode Island baseball team over the weekend.

Even still, the Rams found a way to persevere and take two of three from Xavier University to strengthen their position atop the Atlantic-10 Conference standings.

Rhode Island won 8-7 on Friday and took the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday 9-5. Xavier won Saturday's first game 14-5.

"It wasn't easy," head coach Jim Foster said. "It was just one of those series you have throughout the year. It was a difficult series. We always play tough games with Xavier. They never stop, they [never] quit and neither do we."

The weekend started well for the Rams. They jumped to an early 5-0 lead on Friday before surrendering six runs in the top of the fifth inning. The Rams plated three in the bottom half of the inning and held on for the win.

Junior Kevin Stenhouse hit a pair of doubles and scored twice before leaving the game late with a leg injury. Freshman Tim Caputo had three runs batted in.

Senior Chris Pickering survived the fifth inning and took home the victory.

The opening game Saturday was one the Rams will hope to forget. The Musketeers put up five runs in both the fourth and sixth innings. The 14 runs given up by Rhody were the most the Rams have given up all year.

"We knew today was going to be a battle," Foster said. "Xavier never lays down. The guys did a good job of winning this series."

With the rubber match tied at three in the fifth inning, the Rams rattled of five runs over the next two innings to open up a lead and escape with a win and the series victory.

The finale marked the return of captain Anthony Pisani. Pisani had been out for more than a month nursing a strained elbow, but looked strong in 1.2 innings of work.

"It felt great today," Pisani said. "I had a lot of adrenaline. I was kind of freaking out a little bit; it felt good. It's probably been a little over a month so I went out there and let it go."

Foster said the team needed a bit of a boost and Pisani's return was what the doctor ordered.

"It was a big pick-me-up getting Anthony back out there," Foster said. "He did a good job. It was nice to have him back out there."

The Rams looked a bit shaky defensively, committing six errors during the weekend, but locked it down when they had to. They turned three double plays in Friday's victory.

Senior catcher Milan Adams stood out behind the plate, throwing out five Musketeer runners over the course of the weekend.

"It's unbelievable," Adams said. "The pitchers got it to me quickly, and I got rid of it as quick as I could. My arm felt unbelievable this weekend."

Up next for the Rams is a home game today against in-state rival Brown University before hosting the University of Hartford tomorrow. A weekend road-trip to No. 1-ranked Florida State University looms this weekend.

"We've got to take it one game at a time and look at what's in front of us," Adams said. "What's right in front of us is Brown and Hartford, and we can't take them lightly. Hopefully we'll get our swings and our pitching right and get ready for Florida State."


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