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COVENTRY â€” The harsh reality for the Coventry baseball team is this: It doesnâ€™t matter what the playoff-chasing Oakers do against I-South leaders North Kingstown and East Greenwich.
What matters for the Oakers is winning games against Tiverton, Chariho and Portsmouth to earn a spot in the playoffs.
Wednesday, the Oakers faced the Skippers and coach Leo Bush tried to get creative with his pitching staff by using a different pitcher each time through the Skipper batting order. The move didnâ€™t work because the Skippers turned Coventryâ€™s field into a bandbox by swatting four home runs in a 13-3, five-inning romp.
â€śI thought our pitchers did a good job hitting their spots,â€ť Bush said. â€śAll of them tried to keep the ball low and some of the swings (NK) put on the ball were on pitcherâ€™s pitches. Theyâ€™re a good hitting team and theyâ€™re going to do that.â€ť
Coventry (3-11 I-South) doesnâ€™t need a scientific calculator to figure out their chances of making the playoffs. The Oakers need to beat Tigers, Patriots and Chargers. The Oakers also have a game with East Greenwich, which suffered its third loss of the season against the Patriots Wednesday.
â€śSandwiched between the top teams in the division, we have must-win games against Tiverton, Portsmouth and Chariho,â€ť Bush said. â€śThereâ€™s still plenty of room for improvement. I would like to see us be more effective with runners in scoring position, thatâ€™s going to be a key for us the rest of the year.â€ť
North Kingstown (12-2 I-South) showed why it is one of the best teams in the state. Sophomore first baseman Austin Barry smashed home runs in the second and third innings, while shortstop Alex Marzilli and third baseman Chris Hess each clobbered home runs.
Barry had never hit a home run in high school, but a change to the step he takes right before he swings the bat following Mondayâ€™s win against South Kingstown made all the difference in the world.
â€śThis field a little smaller, but I give a lot of the credit today to my coaches,â€ť Barry said. â€śAfter SK they told me to shorten up my step a little bit on my swing. I was a little ahead of the pitch. The first swing felt great, it squared it up.â€ť