EAST GREENWICH - Two games, two wins, two dominant outings from their starting pitchers. The East Greenwich baseball team improved to 6-2 on the season Thursday afternoon with a decisive 6-2 victory against Burrillville, continuing a stretch of success that they hope will continue by the time the playoffs arrive.
Josh Land went the distance on the mound for the Avengers in their latest win, striking out six while allowing just two earned runs, out-performing Bronco starter Jack Farrell.
His outing comes just two days after Dan Prior recorded a complete-game victory in a 5-3 win over St. Ray’s, leaving head coach Bob Downey feeling confident about his top two pitchers with the playoffs fast approaching.
“Josh has been throwing well for us this year,” Downey said. “He was a tough luck loser against Scituate. We played Woonsocket, jumped out early on them and got a three-inning win there. He would have been a starter for me last year if COVID hadn’t of gotten in the way.”
Like Prior on Tuesday, Land was provided an early lead with which to work, doing his part to see to it that the home team never trailed on the day.
Prior tripled home the game’s first run in the bottom of the first, plating CJ Coppola who had doubled in the previous at-bat. Jack McMullen made it 2-0 with an RBI double in the third with EG tacking another run on in that frame on an RBI single off the bat of Michael Ucci. Robert Brooks upped the lead to 4-0 the following inning on an RBI base hit of his own.
“Some timely hits, a sac fly when we needed it. I think we’re running the bases really well,” Downey said of his offense as a whole. He still feels that the best is yet to come though.
“I don’t think they’ve hit their stride yet, but maybe they will in a week or two,” he said.
On Burrillville’s end, the Broncos, now 4-3 on the year, missed out on a number of opportunities that could have turned the game around in their favor.
“Just stranded some runners and a couple times when we needed a clutch hit, things fell apart,” Nick Harriman said, complimenting the opposition on doing what his team was not able to.
“Coach Downey played a great game. His kids were disciplined and hit the line drives that they needed. It was relatively a clean game. There were no errors.”
His starter, Jack Farrell pitched well in his view, missing out on the benefit of a few calls here and there.
“Jack’s a sophomore. He laid his heart on the field and at certain times delivered a pitch and just didn’t get the call his way. All in all, it was a good game that just went the other way today, so not much we can do about that,” said Harriman.
The visitors got on the board in the top of the fifth, with Farrell helping his own cause out with an RBI groundout that plated Carlo Aquisto who had tripled to leadoff the frame.
The Avengers quickly got that run back in the bottom of the fifth on an Evan Greenberg sacrifice fly before Owen Drolet knocked Farrell out of the game with an RBI single up the middle, making it 6-1.
“He’s a good kid. He has a lot of promise as a sophomore and I was happy with his performance overall,” Herriman said of Farrell who was replaced on the mound by Joshua Simpson.
The Broncos loaded the bases with nobody out to begin the sixth inning, but managed to get just one run out of the opportunity on a sac fly by Ben DiChiaro. DiChiaro had doubled back in the top of the fourth, putting runners on second and third for Matthew Gibeau who ended the threat with a comeback chopper fielded by Land which he then flipped to first for the third out.
“A couple of little pieces missing overall and that’s all you need is that breakout to happen,” Harriman said of the difference between a win and a loss. He is confident that his club can get back on track with still six games to go.
“We’ve got a good stretch coming up where I think we’ll be successful,” he said.
The Broncos return to action on Saturday when they host Middletown at 11 a.m. EG will be on the road at Mt. Pleasant that same day for a 10:30 a.m. matchup with the Kilties.
Follow Nick Cantor on Twitter @cantornick