Rhode Island might be the No. 2 seed in the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament, but we anointed the Rams the favorite in our conferene tournament capsules, and they’re showing why. URI dismantled top-seeded Dayton 9-2 today behind eight strong innings from lefthander Nick Greenwood. The Rams are now 2-0 in the tournament and still have their best pitcher, righty Eric Smith, fresh and ready to go. Meanwhile, in the Big East tournament, Connecticut is off to a 2-0 start after beating second-seeded South Florida 4-2 today.
Here in Durham, a third New England team had a big day, as Boston College completed a 10-1 shellacking of Miami behind seven strong innings from lefty Pat Dean. The press box is buzzing with talk about how impressive the Eagles have looked this week, and Miami coach Jim Morris echoed that sentiment in his post-game remarks.
"I want to congratulate them on how far their program’s come under Mik (Aoki)," Morris said. "They’re going to be good for a long time to come under his leadership.
"For us, honestly I’m embarrassed by the effort we put out there today. We didn’t swing the bat, we didn’t pitch, we didn’t play with the intensity we needed to play the game. Just a bad effort by our team."
Aoki—BC’s quietly confident, very bright coach—said he could sense early on that his team was playing with more energy than the Hurricanes. Then he drew a comparison that surely no other ACC coach would have made.
"I think this was a game that was a little more important to us than it was to Miami," he said. "That’s not to say they didn’t want to win and compete, but it’s funny, I was talking to one of my assistants, Steve Englert, and for us there’s a hockey comparison. In a playoff series in hockey, a team that’s a little more desperate tends to move their feet a little better, tends to cycle a little better. That was the case for us today."
Losing for a second straight day also ended any chance Miami had to host a regional. Even Morris—who said yesterday that he hadn’t given up on his team’s hosting chances—admitted Miami’s hosting chances are slim at best now.
"I’m hoping they weren’t watching today on TV," Morris said of the selection committee. It got so bad today that the ‘Canes were in danger of being run-ruled; they trailed 10-0 in the bottom of the seventh before scraping out a run.
"We were getting to be 10-run ruled, for the first time in my career, and I told (my players) I was embarrassed," Morris said. "I didn’t want any part of that, and I didn’t think they would either."
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