NEWPORT–The hits just keep on coming for the Narragansett baseball team.
The Mariners battered their way to a fifth consecutive victory Monday, putting a 9-4 beating on Rogers at Cardines Field.
“We’ve been on a roll offensively,” Narragansett coach Keith Vellone said. “We came out, got two in the first and just kept rolling from there.
“I give the kids a lot of credit. They picked up where we left off in the previous game.”
The Mariners went right to work as Austin Butler led the game off with an infield single then came around to score on the next play on an RBI triple to left by Jimmy Kershaw.
Kershaw then scored two batters later to complete the first inning scoring.
Consistent performance from all the bats in the Narragansett lineup helped methodically manufacture runs all day as Kershaw’s triple was the only extra base hit to produce a run.
Behind its systematic attack ’Gansett built a 5-0 lead after three after tacking on two more runs in the second and another i nthe third.
“That’s the thing that’s been happening,” Vellone said. “Everyone’s been chipping in. Everybody’s contributing. I like that.
“Guys come in to pinch run, pinch-hit, defensive purposes, whatever. It’s not one or two or three guys on this squad.”
Despite their big lead, the Narragansett offense kept on plugging and added three more runs in the fifth inning to round out their scoring.
In total, six different hitters drove in runs and eight different Mariners scored.
It is hard to find flaws in a team that has won five straight games but if the Mariners have had one weakness this season it has been inconsistencies with the pitching staff.
Monday, however, was one of the good days as righty Ross Hodnett got the start and put together a strong outing.
“We needed a big performance [Monday],” said Vellone of his pitching staff. “Ross did a great job on the hill for us. ...The thing about Ross is he keeps the ball down. Even when he misses, he’s constantly down. He’s a low ball pitcher.”
Hodnett was strong early, going scoreless through the first three innings, striking out three and never facing more than four batters in an inning during that stretch.
The senior did get himself into a little trouble in the fourth and the fifth innings as Vikings hitters started driving the ball and getting men on base.
Anytime Rogers began to rally, however, Hodnett managed to get himself out of the jam and yielded just one unearned run through five innings pitched.
“That’s the type of competitor Ross is, he can pitch out of jams,” Vellone said. “That’s what you need from a No. 1 or No. 2 pitcher. When guys are on base to be able to put the fire out and he is able to do that.”
Trailing 9-1, Rogers attempted one last rally and scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh off Taylor Fleet, who came on to start the sixth inning in relief of Hodnett.
Fleet got into trouble after walking three of four batters to load the bases with two outs but ’Gansett’s lead was never in jeopardy.
Like Hodnett, Fleet also worked his way out of trouble and induced a ground out to end the game.
The Mariners (5-2, 4-2 Division II-South) will put their five-game winning streak on the line Wednesday at 4 p.m. with a non-league game at Juanita Sanchez.
After Wednesday’s game with the Cavaliers Narragansett will certainly have its hands full though.
The Mariners will travel to Westerly (4-3, 3-1 D-II South) Friday for 4 p.m. start at Cimalore Field and will return home Tuesday for when they host Prout (4-2, 3-2 D-II South) at 4 p.m.
Narragansett will then wrap up its schedule next week with a trip to division-leading Chariho (5-1, 4-0 D-II South) Thursday, May 2 at 3:30 p.m.
“We’ll see what we’re made of the end of the week and beginning of next week,” said Vellone.