December 18, 2014
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Flood opens with win
Warwick Beacon photos by William Geoghegan
SAFE: Flood's Kevin Sutyla just gets under the tag to score a run in Monday's Connie Mack playoff opener.

Halfway through the Connie Mack season, defending state champion Flood Auto found itself with a 2-5 record. It wasn’t where Flood expected to be, but there was still time to turn things around.

Flood made the most of that time – and the team is showing no signs of slowing down.

After the 2-5 start, Flood won its final seven games in the regular season. Then on Monday, Flood opened its best-of-three preliminary round playoff series with a 7-1 victory over South Kingstown.

“You always want to keep the momentum going when you get into the playoffs, especially in that first game,” said manager Bryan Leahey. “We’re playing really well and we want to keep the morale up. You could see it right from the beginning on Monday. Everybody was up and cheering. They want to keep this going.”

Game two of the series was rained out on Tuesday and was scheduled to be made up on Wednesday, with results unavailable at press time. Regardless of what happens in game two, the quick start to the series was just what Flood hoped for.

“With the playoffs, you always want that first win,” Leahey said. “South Kingstown is in the other division so we haven’t faced them all season. We wanted to start off with a couple of runs and put the pressure on them right away.”

That’s exactly what Flood did, taking an early lead and adding to it. The fourth inning was the big one, with a Billy Keegan two-run triple blowing the game open.

Keegan and Eric Edwards led the offensive attack.

“Our offense definitely picked up,” Leahey said. “Those two are freshmen and they really stepped up.”

In the end, Flood didn’t need much offense. Lefty Matt Ciociola was dominant on the mound, giving up just three hits in six strong innings of work.

That was the beginning of what Leahey hopes will be a postseason full of strong pitching.

“All of our pitchers have done really well,” Leahey said. “We’re going into the playoffs with five legitimate starters we can go with.”

Leahey also praised the defense in Monday’s game, particularly the players in the middle of the diamond – shortstop Ron Gaynor, second baseman Ryan Rotondo and center fielder Brady Chant.

“They’ve been absolutely phenomenal for us,” Leahey said.

Flood will try to keep things going as it tries for another deep playoff run. If it gets past South Kingstown, Flood would play the winner of the series between East Providence and Chariho in the quarterfinals. That series would begin Friday.

For Flood, it’s just about keeping the good times rolling.

“We’ve been doing well,” Leahey said. “We hit a low point when we were 2-5 but we’ve found a way to win a lot of games since then.”


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