Baseball opens up their home slate with a season-first series sweep over Marist

First-year Michael Anderson finished the weekend with three RBIs and two runs. PHOTO CREDIT:

The University of Rhode Island baseball team picked up their first series sweep on the season at home with a 3-0 victory over Marist this past weekend. 

Due to weather conditions, the three-day series was moved to a double header on Friday with the go ahead game played on Sunday. 

The Rams rallied on Friday, earning their first wins of the series with an all-around team effort on offense and defense. The back to back wins served as Rhode Island’s first victories at home for the 2022-23 season. 

Head Coach Raphael Cerrato was proud of his team for picking up the victories at home, noting the importance of winning a series such as this. 

“We’ve been playing a very tough schedule,” Cerrato said. “We have had a lot of long hard losses on the road, so to come back home and play some pretty good baseball to get these wins is great. Any time we can pick up these victories helps put us in a better position going forward.” 

The Rams picked up the first win of the day with a 9-3 finish over the Red Foxes. Marist would strike first with a run in the bottom of the second, but Rhode Island would quickly change the pace of the game with a four-run, three hit bottom half of the third.

A run-batted-in (RBI) single from fourth-year Mark Coley tied the game and a two-run RBI single from fourth-year Billy Butler helped bring the Rams lead to three. 

Marist would chip at the lead at the top of the fifth with a single run, but Rhode Island would not falter. With two runners in scoring position and two outs, second-year Anthony Depino singled down the right-field line to drive in a waiting first-year Michael Anderson on third. 

Rhody took care of business in the final innings of the game, picking up three more runs in the sixth and a final in the seventh to ice the first home win of the season for the Rams, 9-3. 

First pitch of the second game followed just three hours later, with the third-year pitcher Trystan Levesque earning his sixth start of the season. 

After allowing a solo homer from Danny Moshier in the top of the second, Levesque held the pace of the game for Rhody in his hands, shutting down the Marist offense for the remainder. Levesque would finish the day with eight strikeouts over six innings, tying his season record and earning his third win on the year. 

Leading off the bottom of the second, DePino would respond immediately to the Moshier homer, launching a bomb of his own to deep center-field to tie the ball game. A sacrifice fly off the bat of Butler scored a waiting Eric Genther in the bottom of the fifth, and the Rams had retaken the lead, 2-1.

After an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth from Anderson, the Rams executed a double steal. With Coley on third, Anderson got himself into a run down between first and second. Eventually, Coley broke for home and beat the throw, putting the Rams up 4-1.

The Red Foxes were held to just five hits off the hand of Levesque as they were unable to get on the board again. Anthony DePino was 3-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored, and two walks to help secure the Rams 4-1 victory. He reached safely in six of seven plate appearances and also stole a base. 

Rhody’s offense stole the show in the final game on Sunday, knocking out 12 hits to help lift the Rams to a 13-7 victory over Marist and secure the 3-0 sweep. 

Rhode Island jumped to the early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Anthony DePino launched a three-run homer to left center.

The home run, his second of the series, moves Depino to a six-way tie for fifth in the leading team home-run category. His total of 20 is currently tied with second baseman Addison Kopack. 

The second-year from Madison, CT, noted it was his confidence that has helped him to produce in big ways for the Rams. 

“I think last year I wasn’t the most confident when up to bat,” Depino said. “This year I’ve been really focusing on improving my mental so my physical ability can shine through, and I think it finally did this weekend.”

Rhody would pick up another run following the Depino bomb, this time off the bat of Coley, as a waiting first-year Connor Grotyohann reached off a fielding error from the center-fielder to bring the lead to 4-0.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Rams picked up two more runs off the bats of Grotyohann and Anderson to propel Rhode Island to a comfortable 6-0 lead. 

Marist would cut at the lead for the first time in the top of the sixth with a four-run rally. After two-outs and a pitching change, Marist would load the bases. With back to back doubles off the bats of Danny Moshier and Colin Mackle, Marist would pick up their first runs of the game, moving the score to 6-4. 

The bats were hot between the sixth and seventh innings, as both teams would score a total of 14 runs, with each team picking up seven across the latter. Rhody responded to the Marist rally with their own. The Rams picked up three runs on three RBI’s from consecutive batters in the bottom of the sixth to move the lead to 9-4. 

Marist returned with another rally in the top of the seventh, as they earned three runs to move the score to 9-7. Despite their best efforts, Rhode Island sealed the deal for the Red Foxes as they earned four runs off three hits in the bottom of the seventh to bring the score 13-7. 

Eight different Rams crossed the plate for Rhode Island, with three players scoring multiple times around to help secure the win. First-year Michael Anderson finished the day with a double, two singles and three RBIs. He currently leads the team with 16 RBIs. 

Following the victory, Rhode Island hopes to continue their hot streak with a single game on Tuesday against Quinnipiac. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.