East Providence piles on runs in win over Portsmouth

‘We just didn’t play up to our capabilities,’ Patriots coach says

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PORTSMOUTH — Led by three multi-run innings, the East Providence Townies defeated the Portsmouth Patriots varsity baseball team, 9-3 Friday at Portsmouth High School.

The Patriots grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, but from there it was all Townies as the visitors scored three runs in the third, two in the fifth and four in the sixth on their way to victory.

“This is a big win. We needed this win,” East Providence head coach Robert Rodericks said. “We had one sloppy inning and we could have responded in a way that would have been a momentum-killer, but we didn’t. That is what I was looking for.”

The Patriots’ starting pitcher, Andrew Preuit, found himself in trouble right away. After the first batter popped out, the Townies earned three straight walks from Nathan Silveira, Seth Daly and Andrew Rodriques to load the bases. Preuit would bounce right back, however, with a strikeout and a groundout to get out of the early jam.

Daly started for the Townies, and he also came under pressure early on. He gave up a leadoff single to Brian Hamilton, who quickly stole second. The next batter would reach base on an error, putting runners on the corners for Preuit, who singled to give Portsmouth the early 1-0 lead.

In the second, both pitchers found their grooves as Preuit notched two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 inning for Portsmouth. Daly answered for the Townies with a strikeout of his own as E.P. quickly took care of the Patriots to leave the score at 1-0.

E.P.’s bats came alive in the third, highlighted by a triple from Rodriques, who drove in two runs on the play before scoring himself on a passed ball during the next at-bat. Preuit then struck out two batters to end any further threat by the Townies.

Daly made quick work of the Patriots in the bottom of the third, including back-to-back strikeouts. In the top of the fourth, Preuit had another 1-2-3 inning with two line-outs and a pop-out to keep E.P’s offense at bay.

In the bottom of the frame, the Patriots earned a base-runner when Connor Richardson was hit by pitch, but they couldn’t capitalize.

In the fifth, Ben Sears’ bases-loaded double knocked in two runs for a 5-1 Townies lead. The Patriots brought in pitcher Brian Wojichowski, who stopped the bleeding.

Portsmouth answered right back in the bottom of the frame, after a misplayed ball in the outfield put two runners on for third baseman Kyle Bicho. He drove a double deep to left field that plated two runs, cutting the lead to 5-3.

In the sixth, the Townies’ offense continued to produce as a walk by Riley Cronin, followed by a single form Silveira, set up Daly, who hit a double that drove in a run. After a stolen base, Sears come up to the plate with runners on second and third as he drilled a triple in the gap to drive two more home. Another run on a passed ball extended the Townies’ lead to 9-3.

The Patriots couldn’t muster any offense in the final two innings, managing just one hit in the seventh.

“We just didn’t play up to our capabilities,” Portsmouth head coach Dennis Perry said after the game. “Not enough fight.”

Near-complete game

Daly finished his outing for East Providence with 6 and 2/3 innings and came one out away from a complete game due to the sophomore hitting the 110-pitch limit set by the league.

“Seth hasn’t pitched in a a while because of a couple of rain delays we had,” Mr. Rodericks said. “He was well-rested and it showed today”

With the win, the Townies improved to 3-4 as Mr. Rodericks gets a better feel for the league.

“Besides South Kingstown, I think every team is pretty much beatable,” he said. “Everyone else can win at any moment. It is wide open and we just have to keep winning games.”

Meanwhile, Portsmouth has dropped three in a row, being outscored 20-10 in that stretch. Mr.  Perry was asked what needed to change — and he didn’t shy away.

“Attitudes,” he said. “That is the bottom line — attitudes.”

Upcoming games

Here’s some upcoming games for the Patriots:

• Tuesday, May 2, at 4:15 p.m.: at East Greenwich High School

• Thursday, May 4, at 4 p.m.: La Salle Academy

• Saturday, May 6, at 6:30 p.m.: at Johnston High School

• Sunday, May 7, at 2 p.m.: Barrington High School 

• Wednesday, May 10, at 4:15 p.m.: Central High School

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Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc., email mrego@eastbaynewspapers.com.