Box Score (PDF)
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Rhode Island came away with an 8-4 victory in the Atlantic 10 baseball series finale vs. St. Bonaventure Sunday morning at Fred Handler Park.
With conditions more like early March than early May and temperatures hovering in the low 40s at 10 a.m. when the first pitch happened, two hours earlier than originally scheduled due to rain in the afternoon forecast, the early morning start brought craziness early.
Three batters into the game with one on and one out, Rhode Island's Sonny Ulliana hit a fly ball that dropped in right. With the lead runner coming home, the relay throw skipped away from the plate, and another Bonnies throwing error allowed Ulliana to come all the way around for a 2-0 lead.
Brendyn Stillman immediately gave the Bonnies an answer – and a lead – in the home half of the inning as singles from Matthew Williams and Tyler Kelder set the stage for a three-run homer from the redshirt junior. It was Stillman's third of the season, launched to right just inside the foul pole, and the Bonnies led, 3-2. Two pickoffs in the inning from Rhody starter Trystan Levesque helped limit the damage, however, for the visitors.
Rhody (20-20-1, 8-4 A-10) scored two more in the second to re-take the lead.
From there, the Bonnies would be playing catch up.
The Rams got a run in the sixth for a 5-3 lead, but the Bonnies would have a chance to rally. Stillman led off the sixth with a ground-rule double, moving to third on a single by Pierce Hendershot. Christian Szablewski made it a one-run game with his run-scoring base hit, and the hosts had runners at second and third. Pinch hitter Jack Putney made a bid for the tie, or perhaps the lead, with a liner behind the bag at second, but Rams second baseman Addison Kopack was able to slide over for the catch to end Bona's best chance at drawing even.
Three in the eighth from the Rams put the game out of reach.
Levesque (4-1) earned the win with 5.1 innings of work, allowing four runs on nine hits while striking out six for Rhody. Andrew White worked 6.2 frames on the hill for the Bonnies, allowing three earned runs with five strikeouts in a solid effort.
St. Bonaventure is next in action Friday through Sunday in a four-game conference set at UMass.
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