November 22, 2014
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Flood Auto getting on track
Warwick Beacon photos by William Geoghegan
OUT AT FIRST: Flood's Ryan Rotondo lines up a throw to Billy Keegan during Monday's Connie Mack game.

Flood Auto Group has gone 2-2 in its first four Connie Mack games this summer, and the second loss was tough to take. Cranston beat Flood 14-4 on Saturday.

On Monday, Flood returned to the field for a non-league game against West Warwick. While it wouldn’t help in the standings, it was a chance to get back on track.

Flood didn’t waste it.

On the heels of the rough showing against Cranston, Flood came out swinging and pounded 17 hits on its way to a 15-6 victory over the West Warwick squad.

“It was definitely a good day,” said manager Bryan Leahey. “We saw some pitchers with some good pop on the ball. It builds up that little bit of confidence going forward. We were just trying to get the bats going. We’ve been a little slow lately.”

Flood certainly wasn’t slow on Monday.

West Warwick took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Flood’s Ron Gaynor led off the bottom of the first with a single, and after a brief lightning delay, Flood went to work. Gaynor stole second and scored when Kevin Sutyla reached on an error. Brady Chant and Billy Keegan followed with RBI singles before Joe DeGiulio brought a run home with a sacrifice fly. When West Warwick finally got out of the inning, 10 men had come to the plate, and the lead was 4-1.

West Warwick came back with two in the second, but Flood never let the lead slip. Keegan had an RBI double in the second to make it 5-3. In the third, Ryan Rotondo and Eric Edwards had base hits before Rotondo scored on a wild pitch and Edwards raced home on an error. Flood tacked on another run in the fourth on an RBI single by Dan Thadeio.

In the fifth, Flood broke the game open with seven runs. Josh Rego started the burst with a base hit, and Alex Cerbo followed with a single. After Matt Ciociola was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Rotondo singled through the drawn-in infield to score a run.

Gaynor followed with an RBI single, before Thadeio hit a line drive into center field. West Warwick’s Andrew In couldn’t make the play but was able to throw to second for a force-out. Ciociola scored on the play.

An error on a ball off the bat of Sutyla brought another run home before Chant tripled to deep right-center to plate two more. Keegan then brought Chant home with a double.

“Player one through 20, every single one of them is a great athlete and great kid,” Leahey said. “They bring a lot of goods to the table for us so it was good to see everybody get their at-bats and get their swings. You can see a lot of them thinking. They’re starting to get their baseball sense going, which is good to see.”

Because the game was non-league, the teams agreed to play one more half-inning despite the 10-run lead. Flood reliever Matt Colucci allowed a run on a sacrifice fly but avoided further trouble and induced a groundout to end the game.

Jake Sendley started for Flood and went 3.2 innings.

“We wanted to give both of those guys some work,” Leahey said. “With us, it’s just about the development. Right now, we’re just working on figuring out who can do what for us, try to establish our roles going forward for the playoffs.”

Keegan led the way at the plate for Flood, going 3-for-4 with three RBI. Chant also drove in three while Gaynor went 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Christian Habershaw added two hits.

Flood will be in action today with a 5:30 p.m. home game against Tiverton. The goal going forward is to keep improving and to jell for the playoffs.

“We definitely have good chemistry with this team,” Leahey said. “We’ve got the sophomores back from last year and they’ve taken a little bit of a leadership role. The freshmen are jumping right in and mixing well with everybody. Hopefully that can continue for us. That’s been the big thing for us – it’s always chemistry with these guys every year.”


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