BARRINGTON – It was a picturesque spring day in Barrington Wednesday.
The sun was shining, temperature pushing 70 degrees and barely a breeze off the bay.
The perfect day.
For everyone except the Barrington High baseball team.
The Eagles had the unfortunate task of taking on South Kingstown and learned the hard way what most who have stood in South’s way this season have found out; the Rebels are a good baseball team.
South’s prowess was on full display Wednesday, as they traveled north and put a 12-2 beat down on the Eagles, improving their Division I-South best record to 8-1 (9-1 overall) this spring.
Even still, Barrington (4-5 in Division I-South) appeared to have some hope early after starter Aaron Harbin shut South
down in the first and the Eagles put a couple runners on base in the bottom of the inning.
That, however, is where the good times ended for the home team.
As the page turned to the second inning, the story of Wednesday’s contest was all Rebels as senior lefty Connor Barrett played the starring role.
After giving up a hit to the second batter he faced in the top of the first, South’s captain settled in and was nearly flawless over the course of five innings.
Striking out six and facing four batters or less in his first four innings, the only time Barrett faced any trouble on the mound came in the fifth when he gave up a double to Tyler Thomas.
Even then it looked as though Barrett would escape unscathed, but a routine groundball in the next at bat took a strange hop over shortstop Cameron Meystre, which allowed Thomas to score.
“I thought they played good defense,” said South coach Jim Sauro. “I thought Connor came in there and pumped the strike zone.
“He’s our captain. He’s real intense and the kids feed off his intensity. When your leader’s out there busting his butt, everyone follows him.”
Barrett also got it done at the plate for the Rebels.
The senior drove in three runs on a bases clearing shot to center in the fourth, which alone would have been all the offense the team needed.
By that point, however, South was firmly in control of the game.
After a quiet first inning the South bats came alive and started scoring in bunches.
Senior Nick Hayes’ triple in the top of the second drove in two as a part of a four-run rally that gave the Rebels an early advantage.
SK tacked on one more in the third prior to Barrett’s hit and then finished the game strong.
South scored four more in the top of the seventh inning, getting RBIs from Meystre, Hayes, Christopher Collins and Robert Ballinger.
“We actually took some good swings today,” remarked Sauro. “We have a saying, ‘who’s going to be the guy to get the timely hit?’
“We’ve been working on when we get runners in scoring position just hitting the ball hard. ...When you hit the ball hard good things are going to happen.”
Despite Wednesday’s all-around win, Sauro is not yet ready to let his team get overconfident.
Having just crossed the halfway point in the season the coach knows there is a lot of baseball left to be played and the most important baseball at that; the postseason.
Rather than get too excited about what has happened thus far, Sauro likes to ask his players a simple question.
“What are you going to do when the pressure is on?”