After an up-and-down regular season, Warwick PAL found its groove in the first round of the Connie Mack state playoffs. Facing Slocum, a higher-seeded team, Warwick posted 11-2 and 9-4 victories for a sweep. Warwick opened its quarterfinal series with Cranston on Saturday and lost 8-7. Game two of that series was scheduled for Monday, with results unavailable at press time.
The first-round sweep was powered by strong pitching and some of the best offensive performances the team has had all season.
In game one, Dave Babcock delivered a dominant complete-game effort on the mound, limiting Slocum to just two runs. That came on the heels of a tremendous performance in Babcock’s last regular-season start. Facing Tiverton in a nine-inning game, Babcock struck out 19 in a complete game effort.
“He’s been getting back to full strength and you can just see he’s turned a corner,” said manager Pete Palermo. “He’s really coming on. His confidence is back.”
Joey Paliotte had a double to help the offensive cause, and Warwick got production from up and down the lineup.
“Everybody contributed,” Palermo said.
In game two, Bobby Lineberger worked six strong innings on the mound and Bryant Palermo came on to close it out. Stephen Denis had a double and a triple to lead the offense, while Brendan Rix, who caught both games, had a big hit.
Warwick’s reward for the sweep was a match-up with defending state champion and top seed Cranston, which beat Chariho in its first-round series.