King, Hawks barely sneak past Patriots in first playoff game
The Division I baseball playoffs got underway on Saturday, with Bishop Hendricken continuing its long winning streak thanks to a 5-3 victory over Portsmouth.
The Hawks, who are the top seed in the tournament after an 18-0 regular season, got three first-inning runs, saw the Patriots tie the game up in the top of the fifth and then re-took the lead for good with two runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Jarek Krajewski led the way offensively with three hits and four RBI, and sophomore John Toppa had three hits and an RBI as well. Senior ace Mike King didn’t have his best performance of the year, but he still did plenty well enough to get the job done. He pitched a complete game, while allowing eight hits and striking out nine. Portsmouth’s Matt Peters pitched a complete game as well, giving up seven hits and striking out eight.
The defending state champion Hawks also made an uncharacteristic four errors in the field, but were able to overcome it for their 19th consecutive D-I victory this season.
Hendricken’s next playoff game is against Moses Brown on Tuesday at home at 4:30 p.m. The Quakers went 10-8 during the regular season. The game was originally scheduled for Monday but was postponed due to inclement weather.
Titans fall in opener
After winning its regular season finale to finish at 9-9, Toll Gate couldn’t get anything going in its playoff opener against Cranston West on Saturday.
The Falcons, who went 11-7 during the regular season, used a six-run first inning to seize control, and they cruised to an 11-4 victory from there.
West scored another run in the second inning to make it 7-0 before Toll Gate narrowed the gap to 7-2 in the third and then 7-3 in the top of the fifth. But the Falcons grabbed four more runs in the bottom of the fifth to put the game out of reach.
The Titans banged out 11 hits against West pitchers Myles Levy and Frank Pettinato, but they also made three costly errors in the field. West had 13 hits on the day.
Toll Gate’s Ryan Charette took the loss on the mound, as he pitched into the fifth inning while striking out two. James Meizoso came on in relief.
One bright spot for the Titans was Junior Rivas, who hit a home run.
The Titans will now try to stave off elimination. They play at South Kingstown today at 6 p.m., and the loser will be done for the year. The Rebels, who went 14-4 during the regular season, were upset by Johnston 7-6 in their playoff opener.
’Canes eliminated by NK
The Division I softball playoffs got underway this week as well, and the Warwick Vets softball team was dealt a tough match-up right off the bat.
Playing in the single-elimination first round, the 15th-seeded ’Canes traveled to take on No. 2 seed North Kingstown, and lost 10-0. The Skippers got a two-hits shutout from Taylor Butler and a home run at the plate from Natalie Wirth. The game was tight after two innings, but a five-run fifth for North Kingstown blew it wide open.
Kayla Bourbon took the loss for Vets. North Kingstown, which went 14-2 during the regular season compared to 3-13 for Vets, advanced into the double elimination portion of the tournament, where it beat Westerly 11-2 in its first game.