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WARWICKâ€”Most coaches will tell you getting off to a good start goes hand in hand with success.
Narragansett 9/10-Year Old All-Stars coach Jason Laurie is not one of those people.
Throughout the District 3 Tournament his squad has ritually started slowly but found a way to come from behind for the victory.
So when â€™Gansett took a two-run lead after the first inning of Saturdayâ€™s District 3 Championship at Warwick Continental Laurie had a bad feeling.
â€śI think it was a bad sign,â€ť Laurie said. â€śThat was the first time in our seven games that we actually put up a zero defensively in the first front so thatâ€™s why I said it might be a bad sign. We finally got it right and it didnâ€™t end up holding out.â€ť
As it turned out Laurieâ€™s fears came to fruition as Continental went on to win the district title with a 12-2 victory over Narragansett in five innings.
â€śWeâ€™re not going to win a championship game with only two runs,â€ť Laurie said. â€śWe loaded the bases twice, left them there at least twice so, you know, it just didnâ€™t come together. We knew we needed to play almost a perfect game both defensively and offensively and it just didnâ€™t happen.â€ť
After shutting Warwick down in the top of the first, Narragansett got to work in the bottom half of the inning with Ethan Betts drawing a lead-off walk.
Sammy Laurie followed by reaching on an error â€“ which allowed Betts to go to third â€“ and then stole second to give â€™Gansett runners on second and third with no outs.
A Brian Vaganek single allowed both runners to score but that would be it for scoring in the inning as Continental starter Tyler Amore began to settle in.
Warwick didnâ€™t take long to answer Narragansett offensively either, as Caden Haley led off the top of the second with a solo homerun to center to slice the deficit in half.
â€™Gansett starter Connor Golding bounced back by getting Amore to fly out to right on a nice catch by Michael Ward but then issued three straight walks to load the bases.
A double from Dylan Aunchmann allowed Jeremy Ashman and Mason Provoyeur to score from third and second, respectively, but a fine relay from Laurie to Brady Butler to catcher Owen Costa allowed Narragansett to scratch an out at the plate on the play.
Aunchmann would eventually come around to score on a pass ball, however, to give Warwick Continental a 4-2 lead it would ultimately never relinquish.
After neither team scored in the third Warwick broke the game wide open in the fourth, sending 12 batters to the plate and scoring six runs on three hits, one error, three hit batters and two walks.
Continental tacked on another two runs in the fifth to extend its lead to 10 and bring the mercy rule into effect.
Narragansett nearly extended its season another inning after loading the bases in the bottom half of the frame but could not squeeze a run across. It was the second time in Saturdayâ€™s contest that Narragansett had the bases loaded with two out but could not produce a run out of the opportunity.
Even though the team ultimately fell short of winning the district it was still a strong showing for Narragansett, who scored a thrilling victory over Warwick West Side in its first game, lost to South Kingstown National in its second and then rattled off three wins in a row before Saturdayâ€™s loss.
â€ś[It was] anxiety filled,â€ť Laurie said of his teamâ€™s run. â€śOutside of the game we lost by three runs and one game we won by five runs every single games was last inning, one-run game, teams coming back, us coming back.
â€ś[It] definitely gave the parents Iâ€™d say their moneyâ€™s worth, but Iâ€™m sure they would have liked a more relaxing game every once in a while.â€ť
Adam Lurgio, Brady Butler, Travis Kelly, Jack Sullivan, Adam Bellucci, Shawn Quirk, Betts, Laurie, Vaganek, Golding, Costa, Williams and Ward each made significant contributions for Narragansett throughout the District 3 Tournament.