SOUTH KINGSTOWN — Weather was the only thing that could slow down the University of Rhode Island baseball team last weekend, and the Rams can see the finish line anyway.
Locked in a tight race for an Atlantic 10 Tournament berth, the Rams swept two games from Massachusetts at Bill Beck Field before Sunday’s game was canceled after four innings due to rain.
The cancellation robbed the Rams of a chance for another key win – they were leading 5-0 – but the two prior victories and other results around the league had already put them in a good position. At 12-8 in conference play, they sit in sixth place, and the top seven teams qualify for the postseason. St. Louis is right behind them at 12-9. St. Joseph’s and UMass are the only teams that could sneak in ahead of URI or St. Louis, and the Rams control their own destiny on that front as they move into their final series against last-place La Salle.
Heading into the series with UMass, the Rams had started to wobble after a good start to A-10 play. They followed three straight series wins by dropping two out of three games in their next three sets, including a crucial matchup with St. Louis that bumped them to 10-8.
URI got back to its winning ways against the Minutemen, beginning with a 5-3 victory on Friday. Nick Robinson struck out seven and allowed three runs in six innings for the victory. After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, the Rams rallied on a grand slam by Xavier Vargas in the fourth inning. Jackson Coutts added an RBI double in the sixth and the Rams held on from there, with Tyler Brosius recording his sixth save to finish off Robinson’s effort.
On Saturday, redshirt senior Tyler Wilson shined in his third start since returning from injury and made history in the process. The former A-10 Pitcher of the Year who has battled arm issues the last few years picked up his 24th career win, which set a new school record. Wilson also owns school records in single-season wins and career strikeouts.
For the record-breaker, Wilson allowed three runs in 5.1 innings. Vitaly Jangols and Cam LaFleur pitched well in relief to secure the victory. Austin White and Brett McManus led the offense with three RBI each.
On Sunday, URI honored its seniors in a pregame ceremony and was in prime position to send them off with a victory. But steady rain forced a delay before the game reached the five innings needed to make it official, and it was called after a nearly three-hour wait.