April 3, 2010



Providence, RI-Senior first baseman Tim Schabowski (Pascoag, RI) and freshman right fielder Kevin Carey (Wakefield, RI) each belted walk-off game-winning two-run homers to help the Rhode Island College baseball team sweep Southern Maine in the Little East Conference opener for both teams.



 Senior first baseman Tim Schabowski


In the first game, the Anchormen (10-4, 2-0) came back from a 5-1 deficit in the bottom of the ninth with six runs, capped by Schabowski’s third homer of the season, to win it, 7-5. RIC was down 11-3 in the bottom of the eighth in game two before the Anchormen stormed back with seven runs to pull within one, then tied it in the ninth on an RBI single by sophomore third baseman John Stone (Narragansett, RI) and win it, 13-11, on Carey’s first collegiate long ball.


There were many offensive heroes on the day for the hosts as Stone went 7-for-8 with two RBI, two run scored and double. Junior third baseman/designated hitter Gary Levesque (East Providence, RI) went 5-for-9 with three home runs (5), six RBI and three runs scored. Schabowski picked up three knocks and three RBI.


In their final at-bat of game one, the Anchormen, who had stranded nine runners through the previous eight innings, quickly got to USM senior starting pitcher Collin Henry (Penobscot, ME).


RIC junior left fielder Ronnie Bracchi (Wappinger Falls, NY) got the rally started with a single, Stone walked and Carey tripled in both with a shot to the right field fence. USM turned to junior reliever Nick Hahn (Guilford, CT) who gave up the game-tying two-run homer (2) to senior center fielder Jared Rossi (Johnston, RI).



 Sophomore third baseman John Stone


Southern Maine junior first baseman Mike Eaton (Sabattus, ME) came on to face Levesque who singled and was lifted for junior pinch runner Justin Corso (Cranston, RI), which set the stage for Schabowski’s walk-off blast. 


Henry and RIC senior starting pitcher Paul Vatter (Warwick, RI) were nearly unhittable in the early going.


The Anchormen finally put a runner aboard vs. Henry, who had set down the first 10 Anchormen he faced, in the bottom of the fourth. Sophomore shortstop Kyle Allaire (Uxbridge, MA) hit a bloop single into shallow right field to get the inning started. He later advanced to third on Levesque’s deep fly out. Schabowski battled Henry to a full count, and then lofted a single to left field to bring in the game’s first run.


Vatter was equally as impressive, setting down the first nine batters he faced. Freshman center fielder Tucker White (Deerfield, NH) broke up the righty’s no-hit bid with an infield bunt single to start the fourth, but a double play ground out got Vatter out of the jam. USM answered Schabowski’s go-ahead RBI single with one down in the fifth as freshman second baseman John Carey (South Portland, ME) blasted a solo homer (2) over the left field fence to tie the game, 1-1.


The Anchormen loaded the bases in the home half of the fifth with two down, but Henry got Rossi to ground out to second to end the threat. The Anchormen also put runners on the corners with two down in the bottom of the sixth, but once again the USM lefty got out of trouble by forcing Bracchi to fly out.


The Huskies took the lead, 2-1, in the top of the seventh as Eaton hit a fly ball that looked harmless off the bat, but carried over the left field fence for the club’s second solo homer (2) of the game.


Southern Maine erupted for three runs in its final at-bat as Eaton followed sophomore shortstop Anthony Pisani’s (Cheshire, CT) leadoff double in the ninth with an RBI-double of his own, which chased Vatter from the game and brought on junior reliever Matt Thadeio (West Greenwich, RI). Henry didn’t waste any time helping his own cause as he promptly crushed a towering home run (3) to make the score 5-1. Sophomore Cory Madore (Carver, MA) came on with two down and got out of the inning as freshman left fielder Christian Hamilton (Westbrook, ME) was cut down trying to steal second.


The Anchormen didn’t back down and came up with the big ninth inning to win.


Madore picked up the victory (1-1). Vatter threw eight innings, allowing four runs on seven hits to go along with five strikeouts and no walks. Henry hurled eight innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits, while walking three and striking out seven. Eaton took the loss (1-1).


Like in game one, the Huskies squandered a big lead late in the contest.


USM tagged RIC junior starter Chris Day (North Kingstown, RI) for three runs in the second inning as freshman third baseman Matt Foye (Westbrook, ME) belted a two-run homer (1) and Hamilton contributed a sacrifice fly as the visitors took a 3-0 lead.



 Junior third baseman/designated hitter Gary Levesque


The Anchormen got one run back in the home half of the second as Levesque smacked a solo homer to left. USM kept the advantage at three runs as Henry’s fly ball to left carried over the fence for his second bomb (3) of the day and make the score, 4-1.


Southern Maine exploded for six runs in the fourth as sophomore catcher Zach Fernandes (Eliot, ME) reached on a fielder’s choice and moved up to second on a Hamilton single to get things started. A wild pitch moved the runners up to second and third. Both scored as Fernandes came home on a balk and Pisani plated Hamilton with an RBI-single. Carey notched an RBI single and Day then gave way to junior pitcher Eric Blanchard (Warwick, RI). Henry blasted his second homer (4) of the game and third of the afternoon to complete the frame’s scoring.


Rossi got aboard on a throwing error with one away in the home half of the fourth and came home on Levesque’s laser shot over the left field fence for his second homer of the game.


Pisani knocked in another in the eighth with an RBI double to build what seemed to be an insurmountable, 11-3, advantage.


Rhode Island College rallied with seven runs in the eighth as back-to-back USM throwing errors put runners on first and second to start the frame and sophomore pinch hitter Mike Nadiger (Warwick, RI) knocked in junior first baseman Joe Correia (Pascoag, RI) with an RBI single up the middle. Another Anchorman run came home on a wild pitch and both Stone and Allaire ripped hard RBI-singles in the comeback bid. Levesque smashed his third homer (5) of the game to pull RIC within one, 11-10.



 Freshman right fielder Kevin Carey


To start the ninth, freshman second baseman Greg Palmer (East Greenwich, RI) led off with a flair to right field and was sacrificed to second. Stone knocked him in to set the stage for Carey.


Thadeio picked up the win (2-0), while USM junior Ben Ives (Portland, ME) took the loss (3-2). USM senior starter Mark Schmidt (Gorham, ME) had a solid performance, throwing seven innings, allowing just three earned runs on eight hits to go along with five strikeouts.


Henry went 5-for-9 with three home runs, three runs scored and six RBI, while Pisani went 4-for-9 with two doubles and two runs scored, on the day.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will host Bridgewater State for a doubleheader on Monday, April 5 beginning at 2 p.m.