Bonnies Plate Two in the Ninth To Split Doubleheader at Rhode Island on Season's Final Day

Seniors Ryan MacCarrick, left, and David Vaccaro capped off strong Bonnies careers Friday. (Photo: Becky Polaski)
Seniors Ryan MacCarrick, left, and David Vaccaro capped off strong Bonnies careers Friday. (Photo: Becky Polaski)

KINGSTON, R.I. – St. Bonaventure plated two runs in the ninth to secure a 4-3 victory from Atlantic 10 Tournament-minded Rhode Island on the road, salvaging a season-ending doubleheader split at Bill Beck Field Friday.

The Bonnies rallied in the middle innings to take the lead in game one before Rhode Island roared back for a 14-7 victory, but the visitors would get their revenge in the nightcap.

Friday marked the final games in the Bonnies careers of David Vaccaro, Ryan MacCarrick, Nate Grant, Roman Wild, Matt Eastman and Brandon Schlimm.

Vaccaro finishes his career with 120 hits over three seasons with the Bonnies and played in all 140 of the team's games during that time. With a homer and a double Friday, MacCarrick posted 105 hits in just two seasons to total a .303 career batting average with the Brown and White.  

 

GAME 1 – Rhode Island 14, St. Bonaventure 7 | Box Score (PDF)

Just as in Thursday's series opener, the first game of the day went back-and-forth before Rhode Island would come out top.

The Rams, needing to win both games with an Atlantic 10 Tournament spot on the line, appeared to have the game well in hand early, staking star pitcher Tyler Wilson to a 4-0 lead through two frames.

Bona got a run back in the third on a Ben MacDonald double and another run crossed the plate in the fourth on a Jeff Palczewski sacrifice fly, but the Rams continued to hold a 6-2 advantage in the fifth.

The Bonnies would race ahead by scoring four times in the fifth with the biggest blow coming off the bat of MacCarrick. Playing in his penultimate game as a collegiate player, the Orchard Park native blasted a three-run homer to left to tie the game. One inning later, Tyler Kelder gave the Bonnies the lead, 7-6, with a run-scoring single to left.

That lead would stick until the sixth when Rhode Island responded emphatically with a six-run inning, adding two more in the eighth to rally and put the game on ice.

Brian Pulli started and just two of the six runs scored during his work on the mound were earned. He struck out two in 5.2 innings.

 

GAME 2 – St. Bonaventure 4, Rhode Island 3 | Box Score (PDF)

After Rhode Island grabbed the lead without the benefit of a hit in the ninth, breaking a 2-2 tie, the Bonnies responded in their last chance of the season.

Sam Fuller and Kelder led off the inning with back-to-back singles and Brandon Henshaw reached on an error to load the bases with no outs. Alexander Ferlenda evened the score with a run-scoring fielder's choice before Alex Schutz put the Bonnies on top with an RBI ground out and what turned out to be the game-winning run.

Wild finished his career with a convincing bottom of the ninth, needing just seven pitches to throw a perfect inning for his first save of the season.

Bona got on the board first when a pair of errors allowed Fuller to score in the second inning.

After Rhode Island tied things with a tally in the third, the Bonnies moved ahead once more on a run-scoring single through the left side off the bat of Vaccaro.

Freshman Braydon Nelson started and worked 5.2 innings, allowing a run on three hits while striking out six batters. Nelson got a no-decision, but sophomore Donovan Moffat moved to 2-2 on the year after picking up the win with 2.1 innings out of the bullpen.

Fuller, Magnanti and Stauffer all had two hits apiece in the game.

Friday's result will leave Rhode Island, which defeated No. 23 UConn earlier in the week, waiting out the rest of the weekend's results to see whether or not the Rams will make the A-10 Tournament after finishing at 24-27 overall and 13-11 in A-10 play. St. Bonaventure finishes its season at 10-33 overall and 6-15 in league play.

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