WEST WARWICK- There will be plenty of road games throughout the course of the summer, but for the time being, West Warwick Post Two is looking to make the most of their time spent at McCarthy Field.
Entering Monday’s double-header with R&R Construction Post 18, the team had secured victories in three of their first four contests, which was especially impressive given that they had dropped their opening game by a 15-7 final.
The trend would continue, as Joe Murray took the hill in Game 1, helping to guide his club to a 2-1 victory before Tom Doran looked to do the same in the nightcap. Murray would wind up throwing five innings on the day, which was just how Parente had drawn it up. The one run he allowed was not earned.
“The design was to shorten the game a little bit, let Joe go five, a couple of times through the order, and them let them see Jarrad,” he said.
Jarrad was Jarrad Grossguth, the team’s third baseman who came in for relief of Murray in the top of the sixth. He would work himself into some trouble, loading the bases with two out, but managed to get out of it, as R&R’s Tim Pratt grounded out to end the inning.
The seventh inning would prove to be an easier task for Grossguth, as only one batter was able to reach base safely against him before first baseman Logan Maitland grounded out to end the game. Christian Jorge got the ball for the visitors, and despite suffering the loss, pitched all six innings, allowing just a pair of runs, as his offense was unable to provide him with ample run support.
Manager John Parente had said that winning was a matter of his club figuring out their identity in order for them to move forward and be successful. He was proud to say after the win in Game 1 on Monday that it appears as though they have reached that point.
“I really like what I’m seeing. I think we’re there,” he said.
This year’s batch in particular has shown an immediate willingness to work alongside one another, something that has not always been the case in the past.
“They like each other. The first thing is, they like each other,” Parente said. “The chemistry is good, the atmosphere in the dugout is very nice, very loose. They’re very cordial to each other. There’s no animosity at all and they play, they just play. They’ve been very resilient,” he said.
Though it is still early in the summer, he is confident about the direction his club is head in.
“We’ve got a really good feeling about ourselves. 4-1 is a very nice start in this league and every game and every game we can grab at this part of the season will come in handy,” he said.
Though there were only a total of three runs plated between the two team’s by games end, two of them would be scored in the opening inning, one by each side, before the defenses dictated play from thereon. Steven Cirella led the game off with a single for the visitors and would come around to score what would wind up being the team’s only run three batters later.
With two out and Cirella standing at second after a successful steal, designated hitter Brian Wojichowski hit a ground ball to Ray ZIncone at shortstop. Zincone’s throw to Tyler Boisclair at first was low and got away, allowing Cirella to come around an score. Though he would record a pair of wild pitches before the inning was over, Murray was able to settle down, getting left fielder Ryan MacDonald to strike out looking to end the frame.
Post Two wasted no time in their half of the inning, as they quickly got the run back to even the score 1-1. Zincone and Chris Gaipo drew back-to-back walks before Jarrad Grossguth came to the plate. The third baseman laced a pitch up the middle, allowing Zincone to score from second, though it would wind up being the only run of the inning.
Post Two would grab the lead in the bottom of the third and, thanks to strong pitching and defense, were able to hold it until the final out. Having successfully stolen second and tagged to third on a fly ball out off the bat of Gaipo, Zincone capitalized on a passed ball with Grossguth at the plate, as he broke for home and scored with ease to make it 2-1.
Neither side plated a run from there on, as Post Two celebrated their fourth consecutive home victory. Following the second game of the doubleheader, the team will be back in action on Wednesday, as they finally hit the road, this time down to Wakefield for a twin bill against South Kingstown Post 39 at Old Mountain Field.