March 29, 2012



Providence, R.I.-Freshman right fielder Dean Grasso (Cranston, RI) belted a two-run homer, the first of his career, in the bottom of the sixth inning to help propel the Rhode Island College baseball team past Becker College, 4-2, at Anchorman Field on Thursday afternoon in non-conference action.


The Anchormen improve to 10-7 with the win and have now won five of their last seven, while the Hawks fall to 9-7 on the season.



 Freshman right fielder Dean Grasso


Both squads were held scoreless through the first four frames as each team’s starting pitchers were dialed in to open the game. Becker nearly got on the board first as the Hawks threatened in the top of the fifth after a two-out single from sophomore shortstop Mike Marcello (West Haven, CT). After Marcello stole second base, junior catcher Todd Tompkins (West Haven, CT) laced a single to center field that sent Marcello around third base with a full head of steam. However, RIC junior center fielder Kevin Carey (Wakefield, RI) fielded the ball on a hop and gunned down Marcello at the plate, keeping the Hawks off the scoreboard for the time being.


RIC drew first blood in the bottom of the fifth thanks to an RBI single from senior catcher J.P. Stone (Narragansett, RI) off of Hawks’ freshman pitcher Brian Dowling (Naugatuck, CT). With one out and the bases loaded in the same inning, senior first baseman Dan Hopkins (Cranston, RI) skied a deep sacrifice fly to right field that scored junior third baseman Cody Ortega (Kissimmee, FL) and staked the hosts to a 2-0 lead.



 Freshman pitcher Stephen Lapatin


In the sixth, sophomore designated hitter Alex Verrecchia (Cranston, RI) ripped a leadoff double to open the stanza. That’s when Grasso stepped in and blasted a two-run opposite field dinger over the right field fence to chase Dowling from the game and give the Anchormen a 4-0 lead.


In the seventh, Becker reached on back-to-back singles to open the inning, putting runners on first and second with no outs. A fielder’s choice from sophomore left fielder Mike Smith (Warner, NH) moved junior second baseman Austin Phillips (Thomson, GA) to third base with just one out. Moments later, Smith was caught off the bag at first base, but the pickoff attempt sailed past the first baseman and scored Phillips, pulling the Hawks within three runs.


Becker was unable to muster anything else in the seventh, but plated another run just an inning later to make it, 4-2, after an RBI ground out from junior third baseman Tony D’Addio (West Haven, CT) scored Tompkins from third base.


However, Becker’s attempt at a rally fell short as senior reliever Matthew Thadeio (West Greenwich, RI) came on to pitch the ninth inning and shut the door on the Hawks to earn his first save of the season.



 Senior pitcher Matt Thadeio


Freshman pitcher Stephen Lapatin (Cranston, RI) was stellar for the Anchormen on the hill, picking up his second win of the season (2-2). He scattered eight hits and one run (unearned) over seven innings, while striking out three and walking none.


Dowling gets tagged with the loss (0-2) for Becker. He surrendered four runs off six hits and two walks in five innings, while striking out one.


Sophomore pitcher D.J. Reed (Londonderry, NH) was outstanding out of the bullpen for the Hawks, as he allowed just one hit and one walk in three scoreless innings of relief.


Verrecchia was the only member of the Anchormen with multiple hits, as he went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Grasso finished with a pair of RBI after launching his first career home run.


Tompkins and Phillips each went 2-for-4 with a run scored for the Hawks, with Tompkins contributing a pair of stolen bases as well.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will open Little East Conference play with a doubleheader vs. Southern Maine on Saturday, March 31 (noon) at Anchorman Field.