Upsets define baseball postseason
Bishop Hendricken has taken care of business thus far in the baseball postseason, but few other favorites have established themselves as the team to beat in their respective regions.
The Hawks are one win away from the Division I semifinals. The three other D-I teams in the same boat are No. 7 Johnston, No. 4 Cranston West and No. 2 Cumberland. Of that group, only the Clippers are the top seed in their region.
Johnston has been here before. After going 7-11 last season, the Panthers advanced to the Final Four and pushed Hendricken to the brink of elimination before falling in a winner-take-all game three. They’re up to their old tricks once again, as they went just 8-10 during the season but upset second-seeded Portsmouth 5-2 in their first game and then defeated No. 3 seed La Salle 9-6 in the next game.
Cranston West, meanwhile, pulled perhaps the upset of the tournament in defeating No. 1 seed North Kingstown 2-0 in the second game of their region tournament. Falcons’ pitcher Kemi Idowu threw a no-hitter, moving West past a Skippers team with state title aspirations.
West also defeated Moses Brown 2-0 to get within a game of the Final Four.
Cumberland was nearly upset itself, defeating No. 7 Barrington 4-3 in eight innings in its first game and then edging No. 3 East Greenwich 10-9 in its second game.
In Division II, the upsets aren’t quite as prevalent, but some lower-seeded teams are still putting themselves in strong positions.
While No. 5 seed Vets – which defeated No. 4 Classical – and No. 1 seed East Providence are both a game away from the semifinals, the other two teams in the same spot are No. 10 North Smithfield and No. 14 Central.
The Northmen defeated No. 7 Prout 7-6 in nine innings, then sprung a huge upset with a 2-1 win over second-seeded, two-loss Mount St. Charles.
Central pulled a monster upset of its own, defeating No. 3 Westerly 2-1 in eight innings before taking down No. 6 Ponaganset 8-3.
The championship game for each region will be held on Wednesday, with an if game scheduled for Thursday.