WEST WARWICK — The West Warwick baseball team felt like it was in Division I again Friday afternoon.
After spending four years in Division I – most of them miserable – the Wizards went down to Division II hoping to find a more level playing field. That has been the case for most of the season but Friday the Wizards ran into Prout starting pitcher Spencer Stall and rest of the defending II-South champion Crusaders.
Stall used a variety of pitches to strike out seven Wizards in the first three innings, while the Crusaders took advantage of numerous West Warwick fielding errors to leave McCarthy Stadium with a 10-3 win in a battle for first place in the II-South.
‘I expected a better effort, but what happened doesn’t surprise me,” West Warwick coach Richard Grenier said. “When you make errors, a team like Prout, who’s a borderline Division I team with their experience, will beat you. This reminded me of a Division I game.
“The kid that was pitching pitched like a Division I pitcher. He could spot his four-seam fastball, he had a curveball and his change-up was great.”
The Crusaders (10-1 II-South) received six strong innings from Stall to stay in first place in the division. Stall struck out two batters in each of the first two innings before striking out the side in the third inning. West Warwick started to figure out the senior over the next three innings, but Stall managed to limit the damage to just two runs.
“I had command of all three of my pitches early in the game and that felt good,” Stall said. “My curveball was really moving today and my change-up has always been my main pitch. I was hitting the zone with my fastball. Later in the game I was just trying to get outs so I was pumping in fastballs.”