The Cranston East Thunderbolts blanked the Cumberland Clippers 2-0 on Sunday afternoon during a Division I-A baseball battle at Bentley Field.
Both of the East runs were scored on errors.
Bolts senior ace, Gio Canales, struck out 11 batters on 112 pitches and gave up just two hits over 6 2/3 innings.
“Today was a really good pitching day,” Canales said. “Pitching in 70 degree weather is the best, especially on the arm. By the second inning, I was really feeling all my pitches. All I did was throw strikes and it went in my favor. All around, I felt good.”
Cumberland got six innings from its ace Brendan Wright, a junior, who struck out seven.
“It was two very outstanding high school pitchers,” Bolts manager Gary Bucci said. “And Gio is obviously a bulldog. His mentality is just tremendous. He wants the ball in big spots.”
Even Cumberland manager Andrew Tuetken had praise for Canales.
“Gio Canales, what a great pitcher he is,” Tuetken said. “He had everything working. He was locating his off-speeds and his fastball was painting the corners. So, you’ve got to tip your cap to a good performance like that.”
East got its first run in the top of the third when freshman Jimmy Lombert, who was pinch running, scored from second, after a miscue at first base.
The Bolts second run came home in the sixth after Chris Torres, a sophomore, stole third base, which caused Ben Fogell, Cumberland’s junior catcher, to throw over, and that resulted in an error, which allowed Torres to score, making it 2-0.
The Clippers squandered a chance to rally in the bottom of the seventh with two down, when East pulled Canales in favor of senior relief pitcher Quinn Lanigan.
Cumberland senior Nick Croteau greeted the new pitcher with a double to deep center before ‘Bolts second baseman Noah Rennick dropped a routine ground ball, which put runners at the corners.
Nonetheless, with a full count, Lanigan struck out senior Addison Kopack to end the ballgame.
“I think that shows how good Gio really is,” Cumberland’s Tuetken said. “Because he had our batters off-balance all day. And we had some innings where we had guys in scoring position, but we just couldn’t capitalize on that.”
Though no runs were batted in, East’s Bucci is obviously happy with the end result.
“We’ll take it,” ‘Bucci said. “Pitching is key. And Quinn Lanigan, it’s our first game back with him, so that was big. I just hope that this is a stepping stone for us because these kids are talented. And I hope this is the beginning of a nice run for us.”
With the win, East improves its record to 2-3.