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On paper, the North Kingstown baseball team has all the makings of a Final Four team in the Division I Tournament this spring.
Any good coach will tell you though whatâ€™s on paper doesnâ€™t always make its way onto the field and so far the Skippers are doing their best to work through some early hiccups.
â€śItâ€™s been a struggle,â€ť NK coach Kevin Gormley says. â€śI havenâ€™t really put my finger on it yet.
â€śWeâ€™ll do our best as we always try to. Hopefully weâ€™ll get back to the way weâ€™re used to doing things around here.â€ť
Around here, all North does is win.
Over the past decade the Skippers have been a perennial championship contender but have yet to break through with a title.
Last season NK ran into a hot pitcher â€“ Charihoâ€™s Jake Marchesseault â€“ and the lanky senior nearly single-handedly
knocked the Skippers out of the playoff.
The Chargers beat North in the opening round of the D-I Tournament and after the Skippers won their next game and Chariho was 10-runned by Coventry, the Chargers once again bested NK.
This season the Skippers are hoping to make a deeper run in the tournament but theyâ€™re going to need to play better than they have so far if they intend to do so.
The biggest problem for NK so far this season has been the bats.
Monday against Barrington the Skippers were held scoreless until they hung two on the board in the top of the sixth to take a 2-1 lead.
Ace pitcher Dom Grillo, a junior, sat the Eagles down in the bottom of the sixth but in the bottom of the seventh Gormley had to pull his starter after Grillo gave up a lead-off bunt single and a walk.
Two more walks and a pass ball later the Skippers left Barrington hard-luck losers by a final of 3-2.
If the Skippers are going to get things going then it starts with senior Chris Hess, who according to Gormley hasnâ€™t played poorly so far but if NK is going to go anywhere this season itâ€™s going to need its seniors star.
Pitchers Jay Montanaro, Austin Barry, Billy Young, Alex Tedesco, Tyler Lamarre Nick Mongeon and Brian Cox, as well as position players Tyler Rains, Adam Nabb, Jake Mansfield, Liam Darcy, Randall Minogue and Chris Lenox will also need to contribute in varying capacities this season.
NK will return to the diamond today at 4 p.m. when it hosts rival South Kingstown at Lischio Field.