Warwick Continental American Little League was swept by North Kingstown/Wickford LL in the 11-U District 3 Championship during Games 1 and 2, which were played last Thursday and Saturday night.
North Kingstown won Game 1 by a final score of 7-3 and Game 2 by a score of 3-2.
It was revenge for North Kingstown, who was beaten by WCA during last summer’s Championship.
“They wanted us in the worst way,” WCA manager Jamie Luisi said. “I mean this is what we did to them last year. We beat them and they felt the same as our boys feel now.”
In Game 1, North Kingstown’s Chris Ciarniello tossed five innings and struck out two while giving up two earned runs.
Anthony Burt threw for WCA and pitched five innings as well and struck out six and yielded four runs all of which were unearned.
In that contest, the North Kingstown offense was led by Jay Pelletier, who went 2-for-2 with a hit, two RBI and two runs scored, and Ciarniello, who had three hits and one RBI with one run scored.
WCA received three hits from shortstop Ethan Luisi, while Mason Broomfield added two hits, a walk, plus a run scored, and Nick Stevens chipped in an RBI and a walk while Tiernan Leahy contributed an RBI.
WCA jumped out to an early 2-0 edge in the bottom of the third of Game 1.
It started with Stevens, who drove in Luisi from third base with a ground ball, which put WCA up 1-0.
Next, Leahy, who was pinch running for Broomfield at third base, scored during a passed ball and upped the WCA advantage to 2-0.
However, North Kingstown inched within 2-1 during the top of the fourth, when, after two walks, Matt Harrison socked an RBI single to center and scored Pelletier.
Then, in the fifth frame, North Kingstown evened the game at 2 when Jack Diano, who reached base via an error, scored from third base during a passed ball.
Next, North Kingstown drew a 3-2 advantage when Gabe Sabella drove in Harrison from third base with an RBI single.
After that, Pelletier, who was hit by a pitch, trotted home from third base during a passed ball and upped the North Kingstown advantage to 4-2.
In the sixth, North Kingstown added to its lead when with the bases loaded, Ciarniello belted an RBI single to right field, which scored Bodie Forsell from third base and made it 5-2.
Next, Pelletier crushed a two-run double to center field, which scored both Hamilton and Brandon Venditto and upped the North Kingstown advantage to 7-2.
In the bottom of the sixth, WCA cut the deficit to 7-3 when Leahy drove in Brayden Fagundes from third base after Fagundes had belted a leadoff triple.
Game 2 was closer as it was a battle of two aces.
Diano started on the bump for North Kingstown and pitched 5.2 innings, striking out ten while Broomfield went 5.1 frames for WCA and fanned eight.
“I knew it was going to be a low scoring game because of the pitching matchup,” Luisi said. “But I’m proud of the boys. They played well and they all have big hearts and I’m just glad they didn’t quit and lay down.”
“We worked hard in a 3-2 game, you know,” Luisi said. “In one half inning, we make a few mistakes there and that was most of their runs.”
It wouldn’t shock Luisi to see these same two squads meet in the District 3 Championship for a third straight season next summer.
“We are definitely right now the best two teams in the district I think,” Luisi said. “Both teams are well-rounded. So, I could see it happening again.”
In Game 2, Ciarniello carried the North Kingstown offense with one hit and two RBI, while Broomfield led WCA with a hit and an RBI.
With one out in the third inning, North Kingstown’s Diano socked a ball to center field, which was dropped by Fagundes and that allowed Forsell in from third base, giving North Kingstown a 1-0 edge.
Next, Hamilton, who reached base via an infield single, scored during a passed ball, and that increased the North Kingstown lead to 2-0.
Then, Ciarniello knocked in Diano with a ground ball and that put North Kingstown up 3-0.
During the bottom of the third inning, WCA had runners at the corners when they executed a double-steal, which scored Leahy from third base while Charlie Brown took second base, pulling WCA within 3-1.
Next, Broomfield belted an RBI single and drove in Brown and got WCA within 3-2.