The Warwick Continental 10-year-old all-stars capped off their undefeated run in the District 3 tournament Saturday night with a decisive 12-2 win over Narragansett Little League.
Continental was led by Dylan Aunchman, who went 2-for-2 in the game with four runs batted in and was hit by two pitches, forcing in runs. Aunchman also came on in relief to close the game on the mound, working 1.2 scoreless innings to secure the win.
Things didn’t look so promising for Continental early on. After being held scoreless in the top of the first inning, Narragansett was able to plate two runs in the bottom half of the inning on three errors.
However, Continental was able to shake off its nerves, scoring four runs in the top of the second, taking a 4-2 lead and never looking back.
Catcher Caden Haley sparked his team with a home run that cleared the centerfield fence, cutting his team’s deficit to 2-1. Jeremy Ashman and Mason Provoyeur drew back-to-back walks later in the second inning and came around to score on a triple by Aunchman, giving Continental a 3-2 lead. Aunchman then scored on a passed ball to make it a 4-2 game.
“All year they’ve kept their composure when things didn’t go right for them,” Continental manager Mike Gannon said of his team. “We had three errors in the first inning, but our staring pitcher (Tyler Amore) stayed the course and we settled in. After that, we made one error the rest of the game and hit the ball when we had to.”
Continental was able to blow the game wide open in the top of the fourth inning. Haley and Aunchman were both hit by pitches in the inning to force home runs, while Ashman and Provoyeur drew walks to force in runs. An RBI single by AJ Sherlock capped off a five-run inning for Continental to increase its lead to 9-2.
Continental tacked on its final three runs in the top of the fifth on RBI’s from Jack Gannon, Aunchman, and Sherlock to force a 10-run rule after Narragansett was held off the board in the bottom half of the inning.
Amore picked up the victory on the mound for Continental, working 3.2 innings, allowing just two unearned runs and striking out four batters.
Continental will now host the state tournament, which makes this District 3 title that much sweeter.
“We’re very lucky to be in a position where we can play for the state championship on our own field,” Gannon said. “We won’t take that for granted.”
Continental will open up state tournament play on Saturday at 1 p.m. against the still to be determined District 2 champion.