NARRAGANSETT—The run for the Exeter-West Greenwich Junior Little League All-Stars finally came to an end Tuesday at Sprague Park.
After winning its first game in the state tournament Saturday EWG dropped two straight, the second of which an 11-2 loss to Glocester to officially end Exeter’s tournament.
The defeat came on the heels of a close 4-3 victory over Rumford – in a game that started late Saturday night and finished Sunday afternoon – and a 12-3 loss to Edgewood Sunday night.
Tuesday Exeter-West Greenwich got off to a fast start against Glocester as Alex Ventura’s two-out single in the bottom of the first plated Christian Soucy to give EWG the early advantage.
Even with the intial lead EWG coach Jack Kaveny didn’t have a great feeling about how his team was playing though.
“You gauge your team and I didn’t like the way we warmed up,” he said. “I thought we were sloppy. Usually when we’re sloppy warming up it carries over to the field and that’s what happened.
“Alex Ventura did a good job [pitching] but we just weren’t aggressive enough on defense. We went to the wrong base, we didn’t hit cut off men.”
Kaveny’s feeling would prove to be correct as the District 4 champs began to pour it on from there.
Peter Fiore led off the top of the second with a walk and – following a Jacob Lussier ground out – Devon Atkinson singled to give Glocester runners at the corners.
Fiore scored on an infield single from Johnny Biafore and Atkinson then came around on a Drew Faria hit to push the score to 2-1.
Exeter went down in order in the bottom half of the inning, while Glocester kept coming in its next turn at the plate.
Two singles, one walk and a double – coupled with a number pass balls and wild pitches – allowed Glocester to build its lead to 6-1 after three.
The District 4 winners increased its lead to 8-1 through four before Exeter-West Greenwich finally showed some life offensively in the fifth.
After Keith Lavin drew a leadoff walk the inning stalled, seemingly destined to finish like the previous three after a strikeout and pop out to second.
Unaware of the number of outs Glocester walked off the field, however, allowing Lavin to round the bases the bases for Exeter’s second run as confused fans and players looked on.
“I was over at third base and I thought I was going crazy. I thought there was one out and I saw everybody leaving the field,” Kaveny said. “I’ve never seen anything like that in my life.
“…I have to give Keith the credit. He was the one who insisted that there was [only two outs] and one of my other assistant coaches, Pete Thadeio, was yelling from the dugout.”
Back-to-back walks kept the rally alive but EWG ultimately could not squeeze another run across as a ground out to first ended the threat.
Glocester came back with one in the sixth and two in the seventh to increase its lead to 11-2 and EWG made its final push in the bottom of the seventh.
Trent Johnson and Kiernan led off the inning with two straight walks but once again the inning would prove fruitless as a 6-4-3 double play and a ground out to second ended the threat without any runs scoring.
While it was not the way Exeter-West Greenwich had hoped its season would end, it was nonetheless a great run for the boys from Wawaloam.
“I was very pleased with the kids,” Kaveny said. “The kids were terrific in terms of their effort.”