March 22, 2012



Salem, Mass.-Senior catcher J.P. Stone (Narragansett, RI) went 4-for-5 with three RBI to lead the Rhode Island College baseball team to a 10-7 victory over the Salem State on Thursday afternoon in non-conference action.


Rhode Island College improves to 7-5 while the loss drops Salem State's record to 10-4.


Junior center fielder Kevin Carey (Wakefield, RI) got RIC going in the third inning as he ripped a one-out single to start the rally. After a failed double play attempt led to a fielder’s choice and kept senior shortstop Kyle Allaire (Uxbridge, MA) at first, the speedy infielder stole second to put a runner in scoring position. Stone followed with the first of his four hits to drive in Allaire and give the Anchormen a 1-0 lead. Senior first baseman Dan Hopkins (Cranston, RI) then laced a single to score Stone and put RIC on top, 2-0.



 Senior catcher J.P.Stone


The Vikings cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning after sophomore left fielder Kyle McElroy (Newburyport, MA) walked, stole second and crossed the plate on an RBI single by senior second basemen Chris Cocci (Wakefield, MA), making it, 2-1.


Rhode Island responded with a four-run fourth inning to open up a 6-1 lead. Freshman right fielder Dean Grasso (Cranston, RI) scored on an RBI single courtesy of junior third baseman Cody Ortega (Kissimmee, FL) and then Rhode Island College proceeded to rattle off four straight hits, including a two-run single from Allaire and an RBI double from Stone, to tack on three more runs.


Salem State sophomore shortstop Nick Conti (Lynn, MA) got a run back for the Vikings after leading off the bottom of the fourth inning with a triple and later scored on an RBI groundout to cut the deficit to four. The Vikings made another charge in the bottom of the fifth after a bases loaded ground rule double from sophomore catcher Brett Cahill (Gloucester, MA) made it a 6-4 ballgame.


With Salem State sophomore starting pitcher Ryan Hyjek (Tolland, CT) chased from the game after five innings of work, the Anchormen tacked on two more runs in the sixth stanza off of freshman reliever Mike Owens (Cambridge, MA), thanks to a pair of RBI singles from Stone and senior left fielder Brent Hopkins (Cranston, RI), making it, 8-4, RIC.


After RIC freshman starting pitcher Cody Perras (Exeter, RI) was relieved of his duties following five strong innings, the resilient Vikings fired back in the bottom of the frame as a two-run single from McElroy trimmed the margin to just two runs.


Salem State added another run in the eighth to make it just, 8-7, but the Anchormen added some insurance in the top of the ninth with a pair of runs to take a 10-7 lead.


Senior reliever Eric Blanchard (Warwick, RI) held the Vikings relatively quiet through 2.1 innings, surrendering just three hits and an earned run while striking out two.  Senior reliever Mike DeWald (Hope Valley, RI) followed Blanchard by pitching a scoreless ninth to record the save for the Anchormen, his second of the year.


Perras (2-0) earned the win for RIC, conceding four runs on seven hits and three walks through five frames, while fanning three batters. On the other end, Hyjek (2-1) allowed seven runs on 10 hits and a walk in the loss, while striking out one.


Allaire went 2-for-5 with three runs, two RBI, and a pair of stolen bases. Grasso added a two hits and two runs, while Dan Hopkins and Ortega each finished with a pair of hits as well.


Cocci went 3-for-4 with an RBI for Salem State. Cahill finished 2-for-5 with a double and three RBI for the Vikings, while McElroy finished 2-for-3 with two runs, two RBI, and a stolen base.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will host a doubleheader against Suffolk on Saturday, March 24 (noon).