By ALEX SPONSELLER The Cranston West baseball team split its first two games of the season with La Salle, winning the first, 8-7, and dropping the second, 5-4, each in extra innings. The Rams jumped out to a big start in the first game and took an early
By ALEX SPONSELLER The Cranston West baseball team split its first two games of the season with La Salle, winning the first, 8-7, and dropping the second, 5-4, each in extra innings.
The Rams jumped out to a big start in the first game and took an early 5-0 lead over the Falcons. However, West would chip at the lead down the stretch to force extras and get a walkoff single to take home the win.
Senior captain Caleb Harris went 1-for-4 with three RBI while Chris Piscione went 2-for-2 with two RBI. Chris Carbone and Ayden Bliss each knocked in runs as well in the win. Max Marchetti got the start on the mound for West while Bliss came on in relief to pick up the win.
The Rams would turn the tables the next game, coming from behind to tie the score in the bottom of the seventh to force extras and eventually get the walkoff win in the 10th inning. The Falcons regained a one-run lead in the top of the 10th, but La Salle would score two runs to pull off the comeback.
Bliss went 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI while Andrew Travieso, Nick Fortes and Edwin Silverio added runs. Jason Patalano got the start for West.
“To start the year facing adversity, being down five runs and giving them 14 baserunners, the kids fought and have taken on the role as competitors and have the will to fight. They’re going to grind day in and day out and it has been evident in our scrimmages and these first couple of games. That has been what has defined us,” said West manager Rob Malo, who’s team’s pitching will be tested this week after going to extras in back to back games. “We don’t have as much pitching depth as we’ve had in the past. The quality of arms is there, but we just don’t have the quantity. We managed it well the first two games and now this is a three-game week so this will be our first real test for our pitching staff.”
The Falcons return a senior-laden core this year, however, only a couple have true varsity experience.
“We only return two full-time starters in Caleb Harris and Jake San Antonio, the rest of the guys are making their first varsity starts. Fortunately, we have a lot of senior leadership, even though most of them are making their first starts. Having six seniors in our lineup has been great and has helped the chemistry. They’ve been bonding and I think that helps. It goes a long way in those tough situations when they face adversity,” said Malo.
The Falcons are slated for three games this week and played their first of the week on Wednesday, but the results were not available at press time. In what will be a competitive spring season, West looks to make some noise and a championship push.
“We obviously want to make the playoffs, win the division and win a state championship. That’s our expectation and goal as a team,” Malo said. “Maybe for some that is a little too high, but that is what we strive for. Every kid that plays in high school baseball, their dream is to play at McCoy. The kids take that, use it as motivation and it works well. We always want to win our last game.”