By ALEX SPONSELLER After winning the Rhode Island state championship last month, the Warwick PAL 13 year old Babe Ruth baseball team headed north to Westfield, Mass to compete at regionals. The team had a solid outing, going 3-2 against some of the best
By ALEX SPONSELLER After winning the Rhode Island state championship last month, the Warwick PAL 13 year old Babe Ruth baseball team headed north to Westfield, Mass to compete at regionals. The team had a solid outing, going 3-2 against some of the best clubs throughout New England.
The team topped New Hampshire in the first game and got a complete game effort on the mound from Michael Bryson.
Dom Berry knocked in two runs in the first inning of Game 2 against Westfield to help jumpstart the team’s offense. Berry also started on the hill for PAL while Michael Mainelli pitched in relief and got the final out with the bases loaded. Jude Monti also made a big, game-saving catch late in the game in the outfield to help wrap up the victory.
The team fell to Connecticut in the following game, 4-0, however, all four CT runs were scored in the first inning.
PAL rebounded the next game and would be forced to split it between two days due to the weather, but it would get a victory over Vermont. Bryson pitched another complete game between the two days.
PAL wrapped things up against Pittsfield in the final game. The team got off to a rough start in the first inning, committing multiple errors and allowing six runs early. However, it would eventually pull within two runs and had the bases loaded in the seventh inning. Pittsfield managed to escape the jam and get the 8-6 victory.
Berry got the start for PAL while Shane Moro pitched four innings in relief.
Although PAL’s run ended short of a regional title, the team was proud to claim a state championship and finish above .500 in the next leg of the race. PAL manager Billy Piccirillo was proud of the team and felt that its bond between players is what carried it this summer.
“This team had great chemistry. They always played together and there was no fighting. Of all the teams I’ve ever coach, I would have to put this one at the top of the list for most improved team during a season. They worked so hard all season and cared about learning becoming better ballplayers,” said Piccirillo.
Despite having some question marks early in the season, the team got hot down the stretch and became one of the best teams in the region.
“To be perfectly honest with you, I didn’t think that we were going to win the state championship heading into the season, and then heading into regionals, I was not sure if we would win a game,” said Piccirillo. “We had a good group of players and we had the pitching, but I wasn’t sure. They did it though, they won three games and the two that they lost we were in each one. We could have definitely reached the World Series. This was one of the best teams I have ever coached.”
Members of the Warwick PAL 13-U champs included: Manager William Piccirillo, coach Jeremiah Mullane, coach Michael Mullane, coach Tom McMullen. Players Carlos Gonzaga, Dominick Berry, Jude Monti, Carter Robbins, Paul Doyle, Jack Cirelli, Jackson Monte, Anthony Stroker, Justin Tourgee, Michael Bryson, Michael Mainelli, Kyle Renaud, Derek Asciolla, Shane Moro.