A seven-hour rain delay couldn't stop the URI Rams from upending the Richmond Spiders in the second round of the A10 Championship on Thursday. Richmond (28-24) had jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on a sacrifice fly by Doug Kraeger, but it was URI Freshman Jordan Powell's walk off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth that sent the Rams to the Winner's Bracket final.
Rhode Island (25-23-1) went down in order in the second and third, but used a pair of two-out hits to even the score at one apiece in the bottom of the fourth as Chris Hess blooped a single into shallow centerfield and came around to score on a double by Martin Taveras.
Steve Moyers then retired the Spiders in order in the fifth and sixth, before stabbing a ball back to the mound and firing to first to end the seventh with the go-ahead run on third base. The Rhody southpaw then fired a 1-2-3 eighth to send the Rams back to the plate.
There, Tim Caputo drew a one-out walk before advancing to second on a single up the middle by Ryan Olmo. After Richmond went to the bullpen for the first time of the night, a Derek Gardella groundout allowed both Caputo and Olmo to advance a base, putting both runners in scoring position for Chris Hess. With the count at 1-2, Hess drove a fly ball deep into centerfield but was robbed of the two-run extra-base hit when Richmond's Tanner Stanley made a leaping catch on the warning track and managed to keep hold of the ball, despite slamming into the wall.
With all of the momentum shifted, Richmond's Matt Dacey led off the top of the ninth with a single through the right side. After snagging a pop up back to the mound, Moyers was replaced by Brad Applin. Tim Caputo then came up with a huge 6-4 play for the second out of the inning before Jansen Fraser singled to right center for what looked to be an RBI single. However, a perfectly-executed 9-3-2 relay got Dacey at the plate and sent Rhody into the bottom of the ninth with the opportunity for a walk-off win.
Nick DeRegis was the first runner to reach as he was hit by a pitch with one away. Mike Corin then singled through the right side before Matt O'Neil dropped a base hit into left center to load the bases for Jordan Powell. With the Richmond infield drawn in, and an outfielder camped directly behind second base, Powell somehow managed to find a hole and chopped the game-winning hit through a pair of diving fielders to drive in DeRegis and secure the 2-1 Rhode Island victory.
Rhode Island Lineup
Olmo (RF), Gardella (C), Hess (2B), Taveras (DH), DeRegis (LF), Corin (1B), O'Neil (3B), Powell (CF), Caputo (SS), Moyers (P)
Beckwith (SS), Stanley (CF), Norman (LF), Dacey (3B), Adams (DH), Kraeger (1B), Fraser (RF), Brumbaugh (2B), Johnson (C), Stoops (P)
Inside the Box Score
The Rams advance in the winners' bracket to take on #5 VCU. First pitch will be at 5 p.m.
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