William and Mary hosted Rhode Island for a three-game series at Plumeri Park from March 17 through 19. The Tribe previously defeated the Rams 2-1 earlier this season in the Irish Classic in Cary, N.C. The College grabbed victories in the first two games of the series to improve its record at home to 8-2 for the season. Game three of the series scheduled for March 19 was cancelled due to inclement weather.
March 17, the Tribe (10-7) opened the series with the Rams (6-9) with an 11-2 drubbing of Rhode Island.
Rhode Island opened the scoring in the top of the third, taking a 1-0 lead over the Tribe with an RBI single to left field by second baseman Chris Hess. Shortstop Laurence Hill scored on the play.
The Rams’ early lead did not last long as the Tribe put up three runs in the bottom of the third inning. Sophomore catcher Hunter Smith tied the game for the College with an RBI single which plated junior right fielder Ryan Hall. Hall had a huge day at the plate for the Tribe, going five-for-five with two RBI’s and three runs scored. Later in the inning, freshman left fielder Brandon Raquet secured a Tribe lead that would last the rest of the game. Raquet had a two RBI singles that put the College up 3-1.
The Tribe added three more runs in the bottom of the fourth to stretch the lead to 6-1. In the bottom of the fifth, the College scored two more runs, punctuated by an RBI triple by junior second baseman Cullen Large, one of his three hits for the game.
The College took an 8-1 lead to the sixth inning and coasted to an 11-2 victory. Rhode Island pitcher Nick Johnson was saddled with the loss, while senior pitcher Nick Brown picked up the win for the Tribe after giving up one run in six innings pitched, boosting his record on the season to 2-1.
March 18, the College (11-7) returned to Plumeri Park and picked up another win over the Rams (6-10) in a 7-3 game.
The Tribe jumped out to an early advantage in the game with the help of early power hitting at the plate. In the bottom of the second inning in a scoreless game, Smith crushed a solo home run to left field to put the Tribe on top. Two batters later, senior center fielder Charles Ameer provided a solo home run of his own to give the College a 2-0 lead.
Hall continued his hot weekend at the plate with RBI singles in both the third and fourth innings sitting the Tribe at a solid 5-0 lead over the Rams. After giving up a solo home run to Rhode Island right fielder Mike Foley in the top of the fifth inning, the College put the game out of reach in the bottom of the seventh. Raquet tripled to center field to score both Smith and Large, giving the Tribe a 7-1 edge. The Rams scored two in the top of the eighth, but the Tribe came away with the 7-3 victory. Sophomore pitcher Bodie Sheehan pitched six and two-thirds innings for the win, striking out 11 Rhode Island players and improving his record to 4-1 for the season.
The College has four of its five games on the road this week, where it will seek to win its first road game after starting the season 0-5 on the road. The Tribe will return to action March 21, taking on Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, in hopes of a second win for the season against the Hokies.
The Tribe will return home March 22 to welcome Virginia Military Institute before opening its title defense in Colonial Athletic Association play back on the road against UNC-Wilmington for a three-game series March 24-26.