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Peterson Signs with Milwaukee Brewers
Rhode Island's Stephen Peterson has signed with Major League Baseball's Milwaukee Brewers as a free agent and will report to the Brewers' rookie league team in Arizona.
"Like every kid who grows up playing baseball, I've dreamed about this my entire life," said Peterson. "I'm just really thankful for getting the opportunity to go out there and achieve my goals."
Five Rams Earn NEIBA All-New England Honors
Rhode Island's Tom Coulombe, Greg Annarummo, Kyle Borden, Jeff Cammans and Stephen Peterson have been named the 2011 New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) All-New England team, in voting conducted among the association's Division I head coaches. Coulombe landed a spot on the First Team while Annarummo, Borden, Cammans and Peterson earned Second Team accolades.
2011 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year Jim Foster enters his seventh season as head coach of the Rhode Island baseball team in 2011-12.
A native of Warwick, R.I., Foster has continued to build URI into one of the premier collegiate baseball programs in the Northeast. In just six seasons as head coach, he has raised over $2 million for facility renovations and additions, most recently constructing an indoor batting facility along the right field side of Bill Beck Field.
Also in this time, Foster has amassed 187 victories - seven of which have come against nationally-ranked opponents - while posting four-straight 30-win seasons (2008-11) for the first time in school history.
Additionally, he has produced six MLB draft picks, including the program's highest-ever selection in Eric Smith - who was taken 60th overall in the second round of the 2009 draft.
Foster has become known for challenging his club with games against the nation's best competition. This past season, the Rams hit the road to take on defending National Champion South Carolina and No. 1 Florida. The Gamecocks and Gators went on to compete for the 2011 NCAA title as the final two teams remaining in the College World Series. In fact, Foster's Rams competed against four of the eight teams that made it to Omaha in 2011 as Rhody traveled to California in 2007, Virginia in 2010 and both Florida and South Carolina in 2011.
This past season, the Rams made their ninth-consecutive appearance at the Atlantic 10 tournament - which is the longest active streak among any conference team - while boasting a top-50 RPI.
In 2010, Foster saw Tim Boyce receive one of the league's top honors as he was named the A-10 Pitcher of the Year. A two-time National Pitcher of the Week in 2010, Boyce turned in the nation's longest streak his senior season as he pitched 37.2 consecutive scoreless innings from April 30-May 26. During that span, he turned in three straight complete-game shutouts while holding opponents to a .109 batting average.
After a banner year in 2009 - where Foster's club notched victories over No. 8 Miami, No. 11 Oklahoma State and No. 25 Ohio State - the Rams began to draw national attention while turning in a program-best 37 wins and a trip to the Atlantic 10 title game.
With just two seniors on the team, URI put together what, arguably, is best season in Rhode Island baseball history. Rhody saw seven players collect All-Conference honors, including A-10 Player of the Year and Ping!Baseball National Team honorable mention Dan Rhault. Four Rams earned NEIBA All-New England honors while Nick Greenwood was an ABCA Northeast Region selection and the A-10's first-ever recipient of a Rawlings Gold Glove Award.
For URI's successes in 2009, Foster was recognized by CollegeBaseballInsider.com as an honorable mention for the organization's National Coach of the Year award. He also was named the 2009 New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) Division I Coach of the Year - in voting conducted among the association's 17 Division I head coaches - and received the 2009 Words Unlimited Male Coach of the Year award.
As a team, Rhode Island was recognized as the Top-Ranked Division I Baseball Team in New England by the BoSox Club, the official booster club of the Boston Red Sox.
In his first year at Rhode Island, Foster posted an impressive 34-16 record, including a 19-6 finish in the Atlantic 10. The Rams claimed their fourth-consecutive regular-season title and had seven different individuals named to the All-Conference team - including 2006 Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Year Steve Holmes, who led the nation with a 1.30 ERA.
Foster served as Rhode Island's pitching coach and also worked with the team's catchers prior to his appointment as head coach. The Rams' earned run average ranked them in the top-35 nationally in both 2005 and 2006 as three of Foster's pitchers went on to sign professional contracts in the two-year span (Zack Zuercher/St. Louis Cardinals/2005, Mick Lefort/Chicago Cubs/2005 and Steve Holmes/New York Mets/2006). For his efforts, Foster was nominated for the 2005 NCAA Pitching Coach of the Year award.
Also in 2005, Foster helped lead Rhode Island to the Atlantic 10 Championship title as well as the program's first trip to the NCAA Regionals, finishing the season with a 34-21 record (18-6 in the Atlantic 10).
Foster was an All-Big East and two-time All-New England selection at Providence. He was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles and spent seven years with the organization. He also played in the Arizona Diamondbacks, Anaheim Angels and Chicago White Sox farm systems. He was named Baseball Weekly's Minor League Catcher of the Year in 1997 and was named to the Topps All-Rookie Team in 1993.
Foster retired after spending 10 years in the minor leagues. He then spent two years as an assistant coach at Brown where he served as hitting coach and worked with the team's catchers.
Raphael Cerrato enters his first year on head coach Jim Foster's Rhody baseball staff in 2011-12, previously serving as a volunteer assistant for the Rams during the 1997 season. Cerrato '94 returns to his alma mater after spending the past five seasons as the head coach at New Haven, where he led the Chargers to a 131-97 (.575) record during the span.
In 2009, New Haven joined the Northeast-10 Conference and instantly made its presence known by earning a trip to the conference tournament semifinals. The following year, UNH appeared in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006 while closer Mitch Rossi became the first Charger to earn All-America honors in three years.
In 2008, catcher Michael Moras was a 20th-round selection in the MLB First-Year Player Draft, following
Cerrato became just the second head coach in the history of the UNH baseball program on July 1, 2006. He replaced Frank "Porky" Vieira, who founded and coached the Charger baseball program for 44 years. Cerrato had joined Vieira's staff as UNH's associate head coach in June of 2005, following a five-year stint as an assistant coach at Brown University. There, he served as the Bears' hitting, outfield and infield instructor and coordinated student-athlete recruitment.
Before his time at Brown, Cerrato spent three years as the top assistant at Massachusetts, coordinating recruiting and the organization of UMass' youth clinics.
Cerrato has also managed the Rhode Island Gulls of the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) - a prestigious summer league sanctioned by the NCAA and funded by Major League Baseball - in addition to spending time as an assistant coach with the Knickerbocker Baseball Club of the Northeastern Collegiate Baseball League.
An Enfield, Conn. native and 1994 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, Cerrato was a member of the Rhody baseball team from 1989-1993, earning All-Conference honors in 1992 and captaining the Rams in 1993.