The Warwick North 12’s baseball team went to Louis M. D'Abrosca Memorial Field on Saturday and Sunday and took down Warwick Continental American 4-3 in extra innings during what was another two-day thunderstorm delayed contest at Crowne Plaza Fields.
North’s Matt Wellington drove in the game-winning run during the top of the eighth frame when with the automatic runner in play, and two out, the left-handed slugger socked an RBI single up the middle, which brought home Aiden Forcier.
“That was tough,” North manager Josh Soulliere said. “That was really, really hard for those kids to do. I just said it to them, I’ve coached a ton of games and I’m not usually nervous for them. I was nervous just because of this situation, but that was also a great final inning. I’m proud of them.”
And the manager was thrilled to see the winning hit come from Wellington.
“He had a huge hit,” Soulliere said. “And he was having trouble. Yesterday he had a tough at-bat with runners in scoring position. So, to see him come back today, he kept his head down and right on the ball. So, that was great.”
Nolan Canestrari started on the bump for WCA and tossed five innings and struck out seven, while A.J. Banspach threw four 2/3 innings for North and fanned four.
North drew a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Wellington belted an RBI single through the gap between second and third base and plated Carter Robbins.
Moments later, Wellington came in from third during a passed ball and extended the North margin to 2-0.
Then, in the fifth frame, WCA got on the scoreboard.
WCA knotted the game at 2 when both Jonah LaFauci and James Tillinghast scored during two passed balls.
Next, with two down, Liam Budz launched an RBI single to right field and scored Canestrari, which gave WCA a 3-2 advantage.
In the sixth inning, North had Robbins on second base when Owen Carter socked an RBI single to center field, which set up a play at the plate, however, when Tober, the center fielder fired a dart towards home, Budz, who was pitching in relief, knocked down the throw because he was trying to stop the hitter from advancing to second base, and that deadlocked the game at 3.
The game was suspended until Sunday at 4 p.m. in the seventh inning.
When the game resumed, it saw a scoreless seventh frame, and then North earned the go-ahead run in the eighth when with the automatic runner at second, Wellington plated Carter and gave North a 4-3 edge.
WCA squandered its chance to get even in the bottom of the frame when it started the inning with Donovan Vermette on second base.
First, North reliever Henry Kearns fanned Jake Marcone, and then he got Ben Diaz to pop out for the second out.
Then, WCA’s Alex Arnold socked a single to right field, but it went right at Wellington, the right fielder, who got the ball to the catcher quickly, keeping Vermette at third.
Lastly, Carter Clifton rocketed a bouncer at North third baseman, Dylan Vale, who made a nice stabbing play on it before firing to first base for the final out of the ball game.
“Both teams got the guy on second with no outs,” Tober said. “So, they made it work for them and we came up ninety feet short. So, they snuck the single up the middle and we couldn’t score on the base hit.”
“And Carter Clifton hit the ball hard.” Tober added. “He just hit it right at the third baseman. That’s how baseball works, though. But that’s a good team. Josh does a good job with them. They all play hard. They play their positions well and they do a really good job. So, they deserve to go to the winner’s bracket final and now we have to battle the hard way, which we’re more than willing to do.”
North, who improved to 2-0 in the tournament faced off against Chariho on Monday.
“I’m excited,” Soulliere said. “I’m ready to go. I hope the kids are too.”
WCA fell to the loser’s bracket where they opposed East Greenwich, which was also played on Monday night.