URI Baseball Completes Weekend Sweep of UMass

University of Rhode Island Press Release

Rhode Island Lineup
Powell (CF), Foley (RF), Hess (2B), O’Neil (3B), Corin (LF), McManus (1B), Hill (DH), Cavaliere (C), Heiss (SS), Jangols (P)

Massachusetts Lineup
Avallone (2B), Morris (CF), Lever (SS), Mrowka (1B), Kessinger (RF), Evangelista (LF), Greene (DH), Linnane (C), Norton (3B), Geannelis (P)

How it Happened
Massachusetts (12-28, 6-12 A-10) got its first and only run of the weekend in the top of the fourth inning when Cooper Mrowka hit a solo home run to straightaway centerfield. 

The Rams (28-16, 16-4 A-10) struggled to figure out UMass righty Mike Geannelis, recording just two hits – both by Chris Hess – through the first six innings. However, Mike Corin homered to lead off the bottom seventh, evening the score up at 1-1. 

UMass leadoff man Jon Avallone then singled in the top of the eighth, but was caught stealing by Greg Cavaliere. Vitaly Jangols then retired the next to hitters to get out of the inning on just eight pitches.

Rhody pulled ahead in the bottom of the frame, as Jordan Powell got things started with a double down the third base line before advancing to third on a fly-out by Mike Foley. Hess then shot the first pitch he saw back up the middle to drive in Powell and make it a 2-1 game. After Hess was caught stealing, Matt O’Neil sent a solo shot out of the park to seal the 3-1 victory for the Rams.

With the win, Rhode Island improves to 16-4 in the Atlantic 10 and moves into first place in the conference standings after VCU (16-5) dropped two of three games to Dayton this weekend. Eleven of Rhody’s 16 conference wins have come against teams ranked in the league’s top-8 while nine of VCU’s 16 A-10 wins have been against teams ranked ninth or lower.

Inside the Box Score

  • In the three-game sweep of UMass, Rhode Island outscored the Minutemen 14-1.
  • Through the series’ 27 innings, the Rhody pitching staff combined to post a 0.33 ERA with 29 strikeouts and just 14 hits allowed.
  • Freshman Vitaly Jangols went eight complete innings, allowing just one run on five hits while striking out five and issuing just one walk. With the win, he improves to 6-1 on the season.
  • Redshirt junior Tyler Barss tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to up his 10th save of the season.
  • Jangols (87) and Barss (12) combined to throw just 97 pitches through nine innings.
  • Offensively, redshirt junior Chris Hess led the way for the Rams, going 3-for-3 with a double, a walk and an RBI. He also swiped his team-leading 12th base of the season.
  • Junior Jordan Powell reached base for the 28th game in a row, going 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
  • Redshirt seniors Matt O’Neil and Mike Corin both homered for the Rams. The Rams’ duo has now combined for 28 round-trippers on the season as Corin owns URI’s single-season record with 15 and O’Neil is tied for second with 13. Entering the 2017 season, Corin (10) and O’Neil (3) had combined for 13 career home runs. 
  • Freshman catcher Greg Cavaliere doubled in the bottom of the seventh and threw out his first baserunner in the top of the eighth.

Up Next
Rhode Island will have the week off for final exams. The Rams return to action on Friday afternoon when they welcome George Mason to The Beck for the first of three Atlantic 10 games.