WEST WARWICK- They did it again. For the second time in as many meetings, Collette Vacations erupted late offensively to put away Post Two, topping them by an 8-0 score, bringing an end to their season. Collette, still jockeying for playoff positioning, has two games left in their season.
The last time they faced one another back at Vets Park in Pawtucket, Collette broke the scoreboard wide open with an eight-run bottom of the sixth, as they went on to prevail by a 13-3 count. Wednesday night’s showdown at McCarthy Field would not be quite as dramatic, but did follow the same pattern.
“Our bats were kind of quiet early on in the game. It was a good game up until the seventh and then the bats finally started waking up,” Manager Matt Allard said of his team’s six-run seventh inning.
A pair of southpaws squared off against each other on the mound, as Tom Doran took the mound for the home team, opposed by Ben Roy from Collette. Roy would be the star of the game, at least from a defensive standpoint, as he tossed a complete game shutout, striking out six and allowing just two hits.
“Ben Roy pitched a great game for us, kept us in it,” Allard said.
On the flip side, Doran was knocked from the game in the third, as Nick D’Ambra was able to hold the fort down before Chris Gaipo ran into trouble in the seventh. Collette appeared poised to strike first in the top of the second with runners on second and third following a double steal, but consecutive strikeouts by Doran ended the threat, though his luck would run out shortly thereafter.
In the top of the third, after Dylan Boisclair had stolen second with one out, Armani Henderson lined a pitch up the middle. Boisclair stopped at third, but centerfielder Evan Barrera threw a bullet to catcher Alex Ventura that enabled Henderson to advance to second.
Adam Duarte then drove in the first run of the game on a single to shallow left field, but Henderson was out at third. Collette tacked on another run in the frame, which led to Doran’s early exit, as D’Ambra took over. D’Ambra would wind up providing Post Two with some valuable relief,holding them off of the scoreboard over three full innings of work, but Post Two’s offense was never able to put anything together.
Back-to-back walks with one out in the sixth resulted in the third pitching change of the game, as Chris Gaipo took over on the mound. The fourth lefty of the game between the two sides was able to get Boisclair to pop put to second and Patrick Flemming to line out to left to end the threat, needing just three pitches to do so.
Doran accounted for Post Two’s first hit of the game, a one out single in the bottom of the third, but nothing would come of it, as Ernie wright had a broken-bat ground out, followed by a routine ground out by Gaipo. The most frustrating aspect of the loss for Post Two was that they never trailed by more than two runs at any point in the game prior to their final at bat.
A single base runner was all they needed to bring the tying run to the plate each time, yet no one was able to deliver the clutch hit. The bottom of the sixth would serve as their best opportunity to make noise on the scoreboard. Gaipo led off with a walk and was advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Dan McManus.
Nick D’Ambra drew a walk to put the tying runs on base and following a strikeout by Evan Barrera, Boisclair walked to load the bases for Charlie Tashjian. After falling behind 0-2, the third baseman was able to foul off a pair of pitches to stay alive, but would wind up grounding out on the next pitch, leaving the bases loaded.
It was the top of the seventh when everything became unraveled, as the game went from either side’s to take to a dominant blowout. A wild pitch, a bases loaded walk and a two-run single by Boisclair provided most of the offensive damage, with the scoreboard reading 8-0 in favor of the visitors by the time it was all over.
Roy came out to pitch the bottom of the seventh, striking out the first two hitters he faced before getting Gaipo to ground out two batters later to end the game, and for Post Two, their season.
“This iced it. We had a very small window of opportunity to get in, but we had to win and obviously, we didn’t,” Manager John Parente said after the game. He complimented Roy on a strong outing. “Benny threw pretty well. He’s a gamer,” he said.
At 7-12 in league play, Parente has seen his club turn in a direction that he desperately wants to change.
“Our third straight losing season, which I’m just not used to,” he said. “We need to get out of the funk. We’ve been in a funk for two years. I certainly don’t want to leave the program like this, but it’s time to re-evaluate a lot of things,” he said. “Whatever it may be, we have to identify it and we have to fix it.”