Gershkoff seniors taking early ‘licks’

Posted 6/19/24

Special to the Herald

Early results are matching Warwick Tree Post Two’s preseason expectations.

The club swept Gershkoff Auto Body/Auburn Post 20 8-2 and 11-1 in a doubleheader …

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Gershkoff seniors taking early ‘licks’


Special to the Herald

Early results are matching Warwick Tree Post Two’s preseason expectations.

The club swept Gershkoff Auto Body/Auburn Post 20 8-2 and 11-1 in a doubleheader Monday night at Cranston Stadium, improving to 3-0 on the young American Legion baseball season.

“I’ve got huge expectations,” manager Mike Fratus said. “We’re coming for it. We’re built for it. We were there last year and we gave it up. All my guys returned. We added a couple of key pieces. We’re an old team. I’ve got 12 guys aging out next year. So it’s this year - we’re going for it.”

The Cranston-based Gershkoff squad is fielding a young group and, as expected, is taking some lumps early on. The sweep dropped Gershkoff to 0-5.

“The takeaway is going to be the same all year long - we’re a very young team and we’re just trying to build and get kids some reps,” said Gershkoff co-manager Steve Piscopiello, who is teaming up with Don Ceseretti in taking over for longtime manager Dave Schiappa.

Warwick Tree is coming off a successful season where it was one of the top contenders for the state title. Most of the roster is back, with some key reinforcements joining the fold. With a mix of players from Warwick, West Warwick and Coventry, the squad is embracing the possibilities.

“They know,” Fratus said. “Especially the older guys, they understand. They know that this is a shot that we have.”

Strong pitching carried Warwick in the first game of Monday’s twin bill. Bobby Court needed just 60 pitches to deliver five strong innings of two-hit ball. Zack Ellison closed out the win.

A.J. Ferreira picked up where they left off in game two, striking out eight of the first 10 batters he faced. He worked four scoreless innings and allowed just one hit. Reliever Jack Smith gave up one run in the fifth, but nothing else.

And the Warwick bats were hot. Four runs in the first inning set the tone. They added two in the second, two in the fourth and later brought the mercy rule into play with three runs in the sixth.

Ferreira also shined at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a double, a triple and three RBI. His diving catch at second base with two outs in the sixth ended the game.

Jamie Luna had two hits and scored three runs. Dylan Roberts chipped in a hit and two RBI. Jake Faiola had a key two-run double in the big first inning. Nick Andruchow delivered two hits and scored two runs.

“We’ve got great pitching, we play good defense and we’ve been hitting the ball,” Fratus said. “We put up six runs last Thursday. We put up eight and 11 today. I’ll take that for now. And our pitching has been stellar.”

Gershkoff’s lone rally in game two came in the fifth inning. Adam Stoloff walked, Cory Blanchette doubled and Gillen knocked an RBI single. David Miller had the only other Gershkoff hit in the nightcap.

“We’re young, we’re going to take our licks. The thing we keep stressing is that we’ve got to play good, fundamental baseball, and we’ve got to play hard,” Piscopiello said. “I just want to make sure they understand the concept of fundamental baseball. We know when we see a team like this with a bunch of 19-year-olds, it’s a big difference. We have one. But we’re competitive. The runs they scored tonight, they earned them. We didn’t have a lot of big miscues. We’re just trying to make it work and get the kids their reps.”

Warwick picked up a victory over Howard Rogers Post 25 in its season opener last week. The team is back in action Thursday with a game against Riverside Post 10.

“Always big to get two in the doubleheader,” Fratus said. “And it was nice to get two before it gets hot this week.”

Gershkoff was set to face Howard Rogers on Tuesday. The team’s next league game is June 28.

Gershkoff, seniors, baseball


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