March 24, 2012



Providence, R.I.-Clutch hitting from senior catcher J.P. Stone (Narragansett, RI) and an outstanding performance on the mound from junior pitcher David Hoey (Lincoln, RI) helped the Rhode Island College baseball team salvage a split of Saturday’s doubleheader against Suffolk at Anchorman Field in non-conference action. 


Stone went 5-for-8 on the afternoon with an RBI, a run scored, one double and a stolen base to lead the offense for RIC (8-6), while freshman right fielder Dean Grasso (Cranston, RI) finished the day 4-for-7 at the dish with a triple and an RBI.


In game one, Suffolk (5-9-1) tagged the Anchormen for four runs in the fourth and another three in the fifth en route to the 9-5 win.



 Junior pitcher David Hoey


In the second inning, sophomore center fielder Mac Jacobson (Norfolk, MA) belted a one-out RBI single, while sophomore second baseman Jake Cintolo (Wrentham, MA) added an RBI double to stake the Rams to a 2-0 lead.


Suffolk erupted in the fourth as Cintolo contributed an RBI single that scored senior catcher Derek Belanger (Raynham, MA). Sophomore third baseman Mike Muse (Milton, MA) dealt a big blow with a two-run single and the Rams pushed across another on an error to make it, 6-0.


In the home half of the frame, RIC got two runs back as junior third baseman Cody Ortega (Kissimmee, FL) singled just inside the first base bag and down the right field line to bring in a pair with two away.


In the fifth, Belanger knocked in a run with a single to right and sophomore shortstop Devan Jones (Roslindale, MA) doubled in another to help increase Suffolk’s lead to seven.



 Senior catcher J.P. Stone


RIC again mounted a comeback bid in the bottom half of the inning as senior shortstop Kyle Allaire (Uxbridge, MA) and Stone smacked back-to-back singles to get things rolling. A wild pitch moved the duo up a respective station and set the stage for RBI singles by senior left fielder Brent Hopkins (Cranston, RI) and Grasso.


The Anchormen came into the seventh down by five, with sophomore designated hitter Alex Verrecchia (Cranston, RI) doubling and then coming home on senior second baseman Joan Mustafa’s (Providence, RI) triple, before Ram freshman reliever Eli Libby (Sudbury, MA) sealed the win.


Suffolk junior starter Mitch Monke (Springfield, OH) got the win (2-1), allowing four runs on nine hits to go along with four strikeouts in five innings of work. Libby allowed just one run on four hits in two frames.


RIC freshman starter Stephen Lapatin (Cranston, RI) was saddled with the loss (1-2), allowing six runs on seven hits in four innings.


Game two was a much different story for both teams, as each squad’s starting pitcher stole the show. Hoey and freshman southpaw Josh Desai (Shrewsbury, MA) were dominant on the hill, as the Anchormen and Rams went into the seventh inning knotted in a scoreless tie.


Since Suffolk was considered the home team for game two, RIC had the first at-bat in the seventh inning. After the first two batters were retired by Desai, Allaire stepped in with two outs and ripped a single into the left field to put the go-ahead run on base. Stone, the next batter, blasted a double into deep center field that scored Allaire and gave the Anchormen a 1-0 lead.


With a chance to shut the door in the bottom of the seventh and earn the complete game victory, Hoey pitched a 1-2-3 inning to close out the Rams and salvage the twin bill.


Hoey (1-0) was brilliant in his first start and second appearance of the season, tossing seven scoreless innings and surrendering just five hits and one walk, while hitting three batters. He struck out six Rams, including two in the final frame, and didn’t allow a runner to advance beyond second base.


Desai (0-1), who was stellar as well for Suffolk, records the tough luck loss. In seven innings of work, the freshman conceded one run on eight hits, while walking none and fanning eight.


Both pitchers were aided by their respective defenses in game two, as there were a handful of gold glove caliber plays in the field, including a beautiful, diving catch from senior center fielder Victor Baez (Providence, RI) that easily saved extra bases.


Brent Hopkins went 3-for-6 on the day with a double, a run scored and an RBI, while Allaire finished the afternoon with three hits, a pair of runs scored, and a stolen base.


Cintolo went 4-for-8 at the dish with two RBI and a run scored for the Rams. Jones chipped in with a pair of hits to go along with an RBI and a run scored, while Muse added a pair of hits and a pair of RBI as well.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will play a doubleheader tomorrow afternoon at Bridgewater State (noon).