The Flood Auto Connie Mack team’s resilience was on display at Warwick Vets on Saturday morning.
The Hendricken-based squad erased a pair of deficits in an eventual 8-4 victory over Tiverton to improve to 6-2-1 on the season.
After falling in a 2-0 hole early, Flood did all of its scoring in the third and fourth innings, tacking on three in the third and five in the fourth to run away with the victory.
“That’s the one thing we’re making sure that we stress with these guys, making sure we’re intense and we’re focused,” Flood manager Bryan Leahey said. “We’re trying to get better everyday.”
Upset-minded Tiverton (0-11) struck first, as a key error allowed it to plate a pair of runs in the top of the second.
Flood would capitalize on some sloppy play from Tiverton in the bottom half of the third to take its first lead.
An error at third base allowed Flood shortstop A.J. Guindon to race to second to lead off the inning, and he would score two batters later on an RBI groundout from Rob Whalen. Matt Smaldone came across to tie the game when Tiverton’s catcher failed to secure a Zach Furtado pop up in front of home plate, and a third error in the inning brought Furtado in to give Flood a 3-2 advantage.
Unfortunately for Flood, its lead wouldn’t last long.
Tiverton quickly load the bases before striking once again. An error in the infield, along with a hit batsman with the bases loaded handed Tiverton the lead back, 4-3.
With the bases still loaded and no outs, Leahey went to the bullpen to bring in Nick Coffey in relief of starter Alex Coutcher.
Coffey wouldn’t allow any further damage, retiring three Tiverton hitters in a row to escape the inning.
“Nick has been a pleasant surprise for us,” Leahey said of Coffey as a pitcher. “He was on the freshman team and was mostly used as a catcher and outfielder for them. He really didn’t pitch much, but he came out this summer and showed what he can do in the first game, so we’ve been going to him regularly.”
Flood took back the lead and then some in the bottom half of the fourth.
Mason Carr led off the inning with a single, and Josiah Johnson followed by getting hit by a pitch. After Guindon drew a walk to load the bases with no outs, Tyrell Bernal ripped a single to score Carr and tie the game at 4. Pinch-hitter Manny Urbaez also posted a run-producing single a couple pitches later to bring home Johnson, and an RBI groundout from Smaldone and a two-run error helped Flood stretch its lead to 8-4.
Coffey shut Tiverton down the rest of the way, tossing four scoreless frames to earn the win.
Flood was set to be back in action at Scituate on Monday night, but results from that game were unavailable at press time. It will also take on first-place North Providence at North Providence High School at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening.
“I’m really pleased,” Leahey said regarding the team’s progress. “We went into this with a lot of the freshman guys, and a lot of those guys have been stepping up. A.J. Guindon, he’s been awesome for us, Ty Bernal, Rob Whalen, Nick Coffey on the mound, Christian Tejada. I could go through all of them. They’ve all been working and trying to get better.”