The Winman Warriors went to crosstown rival Warwick Vets and defeated the Hurricanes 9-5 on Thursday afternoon in a Middle School baseball clash.
Owen Leahy and Dylan Penney led the Warriors offense with three hits apiece, while teammates Brady Maccarone and Brayden Ogden each contributed a hit and drove in a run.
The Canes offense was led by Colby Barker, who had two hits and drove in a run, and Mark Woods, who had a hit and an RBI.
On the hill, Winman’s Brayden Adler-Maranhao threw a complete game and struck out three on 75 pitches while yielding just one earned run.
“I can’t say enough about Brayden,” Winman manager Ed Colvin said. “He doesn’t throw hard, but he changes speeds, and he throws strikes.”
“Both of our starting pitchers, him and Brady Maccarone, they’ve done a hell of a job for us all year and this team battles,” Colvin added. “It’s a tough little team.”
Adler-Maranhao located his spots all game and kept the Vets batters off-balance, and the Warriors defense had his back.
“I couldn’t do it without my team,” Adler-Maranhao said. “They make every play. They’re just really good.”
And there’s no doubt that Winman and Vets get extra motivated to play each other.
“Yeah,” Maranhao said. “They’re our rivals. We play hard against them and we just try to do our best.”
Barker started on the bump for the Canes and tossed just two shutout innings before he was taken out by Vets manager Sean Rainey.
“I pulled him because he hadn’t pitched in a few weeks and we need him for Monday,” Rainey explained.
AJ Ferreira came on in the third and pitched three innings, yielding two earned runs. Then, Matthew Badway came on for 1/3 innings and gave up three hits and two runs, before Braxton Pearson threw 1 2/3 innings of shutout ball and struck out two.
Vets took a 1-0 edge in the bottom of the first when Barker belted an RBI double to left field, and scored Jack McConnell.
Next, Barker scored from second during a hit-and-run when Ferreira socked the ball at the shortstop, whose throw to first was dropped by the first baseman, and that put the Canes up 2-0.
Then, in the second inning, Vets tacked on two more runs.
Badway led off the inning with a stand-up double to deep center.
Next, Dylan Roberts, the catcher, hit a routine ground ball at the third baseman, but his throw to first went into the dirt, which allowed Badway to come around and score from second, making it 3-0.
Then, Lucas Hemond used a suicide squeeze to score Roberts from third, and that put Vets up 4-0.
With two outs in the inning and runners at second and third, Adler-Maranhao got Woods to ground out to escape the frame without any further damage.
Then, in the top of the third, the Warriors bats awoke.
“We were down 4-0 early, but there was no panic,” Colvin said. “I've got to say this team doesn’t have any panic in them. We don’t have a lot of power, but we put the ball in play. So, we had a couple of kids that had big two-strike hits and put the ball in play. The low part of the order really came through.”
First, Penney socked an RBI single by the shortstop, which scored Leahy from third, pulling the Warriors within 4-1.
Next, with the bases loaded, Maccarone belted a two-run single, which drove in both DeCorpo and Penney, pulling Winman within 4-3.
Then, with two down in the fourth, the Warriors drew a 5-4 edge when DeCorpo batted a shot by the shortstop, which scored both Austin Wheeler and Adler-Maranhao.
Vets had an opportunity to score a run in the bottom of the fourth when it had two outs and Roberts on second, but when a ground ball resulted in an error at first base, Roberts tried for home, and was gunned down at the plate by Ogden, the first baseman.
Though, in the fifth, the Canes were able to knot the game at 5 when Woods floated an RBI single to right and scored Elijah Gingras from second.
Nonetheless, in the top of the sixth, Winman poured on four runs, which ultimately won the contest.
With runners at first and second, Connor Farrell bunted down the third base line, and an error occurred on the throw to first, which allowed Scotti to score from third, and that put the Warriors up 6-5.
“That was a big bunt,” Colvin said. “That’s probably the first time in his career, he’s ever bunted and he laid down a perfect bunt.”
Next, Ogden belted a two-run double over the left fielder’s head, and that brought home both Farrell and Adler-Maranhao and extended the Warriors margin to 8-5.
Finally, Penney socked an RBI single through the middle, which scored Ogden, and that ballooned the Winman advantage to 9-5.
Vets finished the game with six errors while Winman had four.
“Our fielding let us down,” Rainey said. “There were some balls that were hit right at people, that should have been made, but that’s what happens when you make physical errors.”
And the Canes couldn’t afford to make mistakes against Colvin and his Warriors.
“Nope,” Rainey said. “And they always play us tough. It seems like I can’t beat him.”
Winman has taken 3 out of 4 over the first three seasons of Middle School baseball.
Vets, who prior to the contest, was sitting comfortably in second place, could now be the odd team out of the playoffs.
The regular season came to an end on Monday and Vets ended it with a big-time matchup at Feinstein (11-1). The results for that game were unavailable at press time.
“We were cemented into a playoff spot, but now it’s going to be up in the air,” Rainey said. “So, we've got a big game Monday against the first-place team. So, we’ll see what happens.”
Six teams make the playoffs and heading into the last day of the season, seven teams were in the mix, with both Vets and Western Hills in third and fourth place with identical records of 9-3 while Ferri Middle School, Immaculate Conception, and Winman were currently sitting in fifth, sixth and seventh place with records of 8-4.