Brandon Budlong tossed a no-hitter last Wednesday as the Cranston Bulldogs improved to 3-0 in the Connie Mack season with a 5-0 victory over East Providence.
Budlong out-dueled his counterpart, Keith Grant, who threw a complete game himself but couldn’t match Budlong’s pace. Budlong struck out 12 and finished with a flurry by striking out four in the last inning. Keeping the hitters off balance with great fastball command and a nasty breaking ball, Budlong walked two and hit a batter but was never really touched.
Meanwhile, Grant was almost as effective, as he held the Bulldogs to only one hit through the first four innings. But the fifth inning was his undoing as he walked two and hit a batter before an error and a timely hit by Kyle Whitney led to four runs. The fifth run scored in the sixth as Travis Collins mashed a double to center, stole third and came home on a passed ball.
The Bulldogs are now 3-0 and Budlong’s strong left arm is a major reason for their success. He has pitched 13 innings and is 2-0 with one save. He has yet to allow a run, and has given up two hits with 20 strikeouts and just four walks.
Elmwood perfect in Junior Legion action
Cranston’s Junior American Legion squad, Elmwood Sports, continued its torrid start with four victories last week. The team is now 11-0 heading into a brief holiday break.
Elmwood opened the week with a 12-4 victory over South Kingstown. Rob Santos pitched seven strong innings and also pitched in with the bat, as did Matt Lonardo and Zach Sailer. The Cranston club then beat Barrington 4-1 behind the steady pitching of Tom Sammartino and Blake Giarrusso.
Elmwood completely dominated its next two games, shutting out New England Frozen Lemonade 8-0 and South Kingstown 2-0. Hayden Parkes tossed five scoreless innings in the first game, with Mark Vierra and Steve Lombardi getting the key hits. In the win over South Kingstown, Andrew Ciacciarelli dazzled, twirling a one-hit shutout to keep his team perfect. Lonardo’s two-run double was the big hit.
Elmwood Sports will be back in action Monday with a game against Warwick PAL at 5:30 p.m. at Cranston West.