URI’s Cerrato Voted A-10 Coach of the Year, Freshman Tyler Wilson Rookie and Pitcher of the Year

URI news release…

KINGSTON, R.I. – Rhode Island freshman pitcher Tyler Wilson received the Atlantic 10’s Pitcher and Rookie of the Year awards while head coach Raphael Cerrato was named A-10 Coach of the Year, in voting conducted among the league’s 13 head coaches. Wilson also was named to the conference’s First Team, along with classmate Chris Hess, while sophomore Martin Taveras landed a spot on the Second Team and Tim Caputo was an All-Academic selection.

In his first season as head coach of his alma mater, Cerrato has positioned Rhode Island as a #2 seed in the 2015 Atlantic 10 Championship, despite the Rams being picked to finish 11th of 13 in the conference’s preseason coaches poll. URI finished the regular season with a record of 23-23-1 (15-9) after going 13-40 (7-18) a year ago.

Under Cerrato’s guidance, Rhody won six consecutive A-10 series – three of which were on the road. The Rams also knocked off the 11th-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels, marking URI’s first win over a team ranked 11th or better since 2009. 

Having spent the previous three seasons as an assistant on former head coach Jim Foster‘s staff, Cerrato was heavily involved in the recruitment of nearly all of Rhody’s 2015 team.

Wilson – who has put together one of the most impressive rookie campaigns in recent history – is the first freshman in the history of the Atlantic 10 to earn Pitcher or Player of the Year accolades.

The Palmer, Mass. native finished the regular season leading all A-10 starting pitchers in ERA (1.75), runs allowed (19), opposing average (.170), hits allowed per nine innings (5.36) and WHIP (0.89). His hits per nine average is second-best among all NCAA Division I pitchers while his WHIP ranks 13th among all players.

A three-time A-10 Rookie of the Week and two-time Pitcher of the Week, he also earned Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week honors on April 20, following his complete-game, one-hit shutout at Richmond. Overall, he recorded nine quality starts, spanned 28 innings without allowing an earned run, reached double-digits in strikeouts twice and allowed a combined three hits in 7.1 innings of work at #2 Florida and #11 North Carolina.

Joining Wilson on the first team is Hess, who ended the regular season leading Rhode Island in hits (53) and runs scored (32). A native of North Kingstown, R.I., he ranked second in slugging percentage (.481) and on-base percentage (.400) and third in in RBI (24) and stolen bases (10). The reigning A-10 Rookie of the Week, he also turned in 16 multi-hit games, and six multi-RBI games.

Wilson and Hess also were named to the conference’s All-Rookie squad.

Taveras earned All-Conference Second Team accolades after hitting an impressing .363 in A-10 games this season. A switch-hitter who played primarily as a DH, but also saw time in the infield and outfield, he led Rhode Island with a .575 slugging percentage and .414 on-base percentage in conference games. Overall, the Elizabeth, N.J. product had 14 multi-hit games, 10 multi-RBI games, 10 doubles, five home runs, one triple and six stolen bases.

For the second year in a row, Caputo claimed one of 12 spots on the A-10 All-Academic team. A two-year team captain for the Rams, he has appeared in 203 career games and has twice been identified as the A-10’s best defensive infielder. With 592 assists, he is just two away from setting a new career record at URI. 

Caputo’s commitment to academics has been equally impressive as he boasts a 3.53 cume GPA as a kinesiology major and has completed internships at physical therapy practices in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. A member of both the Dean’s List and the Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll, he recently received URI’s Elizabeth Homes award which is presented annually to the most outstanding graduating student-athlete.

The second-seeded Rams open play at the 2015 Atlantic 10 Championship on Wednesday afternoon against seventh-seeded Fordham. First pitch is set for 1:30 p.m.