Hendricken sophomore Colin Lemieux drove in the game-winning run during the bottom of the seventh inning and gave the Hawks a 1-0 walk-off win over the Coventry Oakers during the Quarterfinal round of the Baseball Division I Playoffs at Ray Pepin Field late Friday afternoon.
“He’s come through all year for us and he got a big hit there,” Hendricken manager Ed Holloway said.
Lemieux’s hit came with one out and went to right-center, which scored pinch-runner Xavier Quezada, from second, who slid headfirst into home plate.
The third baseman only had one thing on his mind when he stepped into the batter’s box.
“There were two guys on base, so I had to focus on staying short to the ball, and make sure I can get on base to score X, who was on second base,” Lemieux said.
Earlier in the inning, Hendricken’s Braydon Dolbashian, a senior, led off with a single to left.
“Braydon was big getting it started with a base hit to get the inning going and that was key,” Holloway said. “We’ve got to get our leadoff guy on.”
Next, Will Panarello, the senior catcher, used a sacrifice bunt to advance Dolbahsian to second. That’s when Quezada came on to pinch run for Dolbashian. Next, Coventry elected to intentionally walk Matt Smaldone, before Lemieux approached the plate and made the Oakers pay.
Senior Blake Roberge earned the win on the mound for Hendricken, pitching a complete-game shutout while striking out four.
Next, the Hawks moved on to the Final Four and head to McCarthy Field in West Warwick to face off against the South Kingstown Rebels in a best-of-three series, which starts on Monday and runs through Wednesday if necessary.
And Both Lemieux and Holloway are convinced the Hawks can put together a good run as the team closes the tournament.
“I do feel confident,” Lemieux said. “I feel like we’re all working as a team and we should go far in this.”
“We have a good team,” Holloway added. “They’re all good teams now. So, we’ve got to continue to play well, and get good pitching, and hopefully hit the ball a little bit better than we did today. But right now, we’re one of the final four teams and that feels good. And we just got to stay focused and keep getting better.”