KINGSTON, R.I.— The Sacred Heart University baseball team was unable to complete the comeback on Tuesday afternoon, falling to University of Rhode Island, 5-3.
The Rams (5-14) had a 5-0 after six innings of play but the Pioneers (4-11) tacked on three runs in the seventh before dropping the non-conference matchup at Bill Beck Field.
URI got things going in the bottom half of the second as Jonathan Coutts opened up the inning with a single. A walk and sacrifice bunt gave the home team runners on second and third for Laurence Hill. He singled through the left side for the opening run. Two batters later, Brett McManus laced a single to right field for the 2-0 lead.
The Rams doubled up its lead with a two-run bottom of the third inning as Coutts scored on a throwing error and later scored on a single to center field by Kevin Heiss for the 4-0 lead.
SHU threatened in the top of the sixth inning as senior Dan Schock recorded the one-out single up the middle. Sophomore Austin Markmann followed that up with a 2-2 double to left field to put runners in scoring position. After a walk loaded the bases, Mignone got co-captain PJ DeFilippo to step out in front on the 1-0 pitch for the inning-ending double play.
The Pioneers looked to get on the scoreboard in the next inning as back-to-back one-out walks by Cody Doyle and Kyle Oliver got runners on the base path. Sophomore Stephen Thibault stepped in for the top of the lineup and delivered his first career home run over the left field wall to make the game 5-3.
The URI bullpen held SHU to just a walk in the last two innings including a 1-2-3 top of the ninth to take the non-conference matchup. Doyle led the Pioneers in hits with two in the game. Thibault recorded a three-RBI afternoon for the second time in five games and now has a team-high 11 RBI on the year.
A trio of Pioneer freshmen appeared on the bump to start the game as Joe Greco earned the start. Thomas Pinto and Matt Aufiero both contributed two innings in relief. Junior John Cerretani pitched a scoreless inning of relief. Sophomore Brendan Coffey ended the day on the mound with two strikeouts in the eighth inning.
The Pioneers open Northeast Conference play this weekend at Mount St. Mary's. The three-game series starts on Friday, March 23 at 3:00 p.m.