KINGSTON–The University of Rhode Island baseball team had an impressive weekend series at Bill Beck Memorial Field, sweeping Temple University to continue rolling in their Atlantic 10 Conference schedule.
Currently fourth place in the A-10, URI extended its winning streak to seven games after a sweep of Fordham University last weekend and a non-league victory over Boston College Tuesday prior to this weekend’s series with Temple
All weekend the Owls struggled against Rhody’s pitching as the Rams kept their opposition off balance throughout the series.
Mike Bradstreet got the tempo started in Friday’s series opener with a 3-0 shutout. The senior right-hander struck out a career high eleven batters and allowed only four hits through seven and two-thirds innings to improve his record to 6-3 on the season.
Bobby Dean got his eighth save, getting the final out of the eighth and shutting the door on three batters in the ninth.
URI scored their runs in the bottom of the fifth when Jeff Roy singled in Chris Famiglietti before Mike LeBel’s double plated Roy and Tim Caputo. Temple’s Patrick Peterson col-lected his fifth loss of the season.
Saturday was the sixth annual Autism Awareness Day game and URI again put together a superb pitching performance to win 3-1.
Sean Furney started for the Rams and went five, allowing his lone run in the top of the first. Jeff Roy pestered the Owls from the top of the order all afternoon, going four-for-four, stealing two bases and scoring all three URI runs, his final on a passed ball.
Pat Quinn drove Roy in with a first-inning base knock and LeBel drove him in with a fifth inning sacrifice fly. Brad Applin came out of the bullpen and allowed one hit over four relief innings, garnering the save.
This year the Autism Awareness game raised money for “Joey’s Fund,” a recent initiative started by the survivors of Josephine “Joey” Gay, a seven-year-old autistic girl who passed away during the Sandy Hook tragedy.
In partnership with the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism, Joey’s Fund directly benefits families by providing funds needed for additional services and therapies that may not be covered by insurance.
“It was outstanding for the whole community to get together for something like that and do something for a great cause, that’s what it’s all about,” URI head coach Jim Foster said. “We were real happy with the turnout, everybody did a great job, players, parents, URI staff; everybody that works here came out.
“We had a big bouncy house, t-shirts, cotton candy, popcorn; the kids had a great time. It was a wonderful day.”
Solid pitching remained the theme in game three with URI winning 6-2, breaking a 2-2 tie with a lopsided eighth-inning.
Freshman Steve Moyers struck out eight and walked one through seven, while righty Brendan Doonan pitched a perfect eighth and Dean closed the afternoon out.
“[Moyers] was starting to hit his stride there in the fifth, sixth, seventh inning. He was getting better but he was at 100 pitches,” Foster said. “He did his job and it was time for him to come out of the game.”
Caputo led the game off with a single, advanced on a Roy walk and came in on Pat Fortunato’s sacrifice fly to left.
Temple got two unearned runs and took a brief lead in the second with URI evening it in the bottom half. Roy drew a walk, stole two bases and was driven in on Connor Foreman’s single.
It remained tied at two apiece until the eighth when the bottom of the Ram’s order scored four runs, keyed by hits from Joe Landi, Jesse Lee, Kevin Stenhouse and Caputo.
Even with the seven-game winning streak, Foster still sees areas where his team can improve.
“We can still get a lot better, right now we’re a poor offensive club and we got to swing the bats better,” Foster said. “We keep waiting for a couple of guys to get going, if we get Jeff Roy going, we get Mike LeBel going, Kevin Stenhouse going.
“The good thing is more guys are contributing but if we get those guys I just mentioned really going, I think it will make it a lot better.”
URI played non-conference games against Brown University Tuesday and Hartford University Wednesday and will be back in action this weekend for a series at Xavier University.