Flood Auto baseball defeated the Cranston Dirt Dawgs 5-2 on Saturday morning at Hendricken’s Ray Pepin Field.
Flood Auto got a complete-game gem from starting pitcher Jonas Kendra, who struck out three hitters while yielding just two late runs.
“Jonas stepped up huge for us,” Flood Auto manager Bryan Leahey said. “We kind of had a plan that we were going to have a couple different guys throwing for us, but he stepped it up and it was hard to take that ball away from him. He was just so efficient, getting ahead of the batters, the defense playing right behind him, so we decided to keep rolling the dice with him and he came through for us.”
Bryan Wasilewski got the start on the hill for the Dirt Dawgs and struck out four batters over four innings.
“He did a great job,” Cranston manager Steve McGrath said. “He threw some good innings out there, but they were able to hit him when they saw him the second time around.”
Flood Auto stranded the bases loaded in the top of the first inning, but when they were in the same situation in the third, they came through when Anthony Lamarone launched a two-run single to center field and scored shortstop Xavier Quezada and second baseman Antone Mello and put Flood Auto up 2-0.
Flood Auto loaded the bases again in the bottom of the fourth. Tyrell Bernal drove in the designated hitter Noah Sullivan and along with him came Alex Coutcher, who scored during the same play after an error at first base which extended Flood Auto’s edge to 4-0.
Sullivan hammered an RBI single to right field and scored Brian Schattle, which made it 5-0 in the fifth,.
Then the Dirt Dawgs began to rally in the top of the seventh.
With one out and a runner at first, Wasilewski ripped an RBI double over the head of the left fielder Jeremy Ashman and pulled Cranston within 5-1. Victor DiCotis would then hit an RBI single to right and drove in Wasilewski to make it 5-2.
“Both guys are veterans on this team,” McGrath said about Wasilewski and DiCotis. “Victor is a middle infielder and pitcher for us, and they bat first and second in our order because they do hit and they get things done out there.”
Unfortunately for the Dirt Dawgs, their offense came around a little too late.
“This Flood Auto team plays excellent defense,” McGrath said. “They’re very solid and a lot of the balls we did hit, they made plays on. . . They know how to play this game. And toward the end there, we started to have a rally and started hitting the ball hard, and into the gaps in the outfield, and got a couple of runs out of it.”
Flood Auto’s offense wasn’t always so potent, but they are certainly coming around at the right time.
“We started off slow at the beginning of the year, but we’ve been coming together more and more and everything’s just clicking for us now,” Leahey said. “The biggest thing is our motto that we have going right now which is, ‘the team before me’ and these guys are definitely buying into it which is huge.”